John Davies of Hereford

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For other people of the same name, see John Davies (disambiguation).
Portrait from title page of The Writing Schoolemaster 2nd ed. (1636)

John Davies of Hereford (c. 1565 – July 1618) was a writing-master and an Anglo-Welsh poet. He is usually known as John Davies of Hereford (after the city where he was born) in order to distinguish him from others of the same name.

Hereford was at that time a Welsh-speaking area, even though officially in England. Davies wrote very copiously on theological and philosophical themes. He also wrote many epigrams on his contemporaries which have some historical interest. John Davies died in London.

Works[edit]

Title page of The Scourge of Folly (1611), depicting Wit scourging Folly mounted on the back of Time.
  • Mirum in Modum, a Glimpse of God's Glory and the Soul's Shape (1602)
  • Microcosmos (1603)
  • Wittes Pilgrimage (1605?)
  • Humours Heav's on Earth (1605)
  • The Scourge of Folly (1611)
  • The Picture of a Happy Man (1612)
  • Wit's Bedlam (1617)[1]

A Lover's Complaint[edit]

In a 2007 monograph, Shakespeare, "A Lover's Complaint," and John Davies of Hereford, Brian Vickers attributes to Davies the poem "A Lover's Complaint", which was published by Thomas Thorpe with Shakespeare's Sonnets in 1609. This attribution goes against scholarly consensus, and in particular studies by Kenneth Muir, Eliot Slater and MacDonald P. Jackson, but is based on both a detailed demonstration of the non-Shakespearean nature of the poem and a list of numerous verbal parallels—such as 'What brest so cold that is not warmed heare' and 'What heart's so cold that is not set on fire'—between the Complaint and the known works of Davies. On Vickers's attribution it was omitted from the 2007 RSC Shakespeare Complete Works, a decision Jackson called a mistake in his RES review of Vickers's book, arguing, among other reservations, that "Evidence that, in poems undoubtedly his, Davies exhibits an intimacy with Shakespeare's works equal to that of the author of 'A Lover's Complaint' is very meagre."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ennis, Lambert - "Wit's Bedlam" of John Davies of Hereford (The Huntington Library Bulletin, No. 11 (Apr., 1937), pp. 13-21)


External links[edit]