Talk:Ben Jonson

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Jonson's date of birth[edit]

Where does the birthdate of "c. June11" originate? As far as I can tell, it copies an error that was corrected in the Peter Whalley edition of Underwoods, published in 1756. If you search googlebooks for "jonson gifford digby june january" you will get the whole story. This has been known at least since W. Gifford's 1816 Memoirs of Ben Jonson and I'm not aware of it having been contradicted. Yet June 11, or c. June 11, or even June 21 (Gregorian) are continually seen in reference works. Mark Shulgasser (talk) 03:31, 13 February 2013 (UTC)


This article needs an introduction and some sections. As it stands, here is the first paragraph:

Born in Westminster, Jonson's arms, "three spindles or rhombi," are the family device of the Johnstones of Annandale, a fact which confirms Jonson's own assertion of Border descent. His father died a month before Ben's birth, and his mother remarried two years later, to a master bricklayer. Jonson attended school in St. Martin's Lane, and was later sent to Westminster School, where one of his teachers was William Camden. On leaving, Jonson is said to have gone on to the University of Cambridge. Jonson himself said that he did not go to university, but was put to a trade immediately. He soon had enough of the trade, probably bricklaying, and spent some time in the Low Countries as a soldier.

Uh, ok, but who the heck is he? --Doradus 19:47, Nov 20, 2004 (UTC)

Wow! This is a really bad article! I'll see if I can create some structure. The Singing Badger 20:31, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Holy crap, that was fast. Nice work! --Doradus 22:22, Nov 20, 2004 (UTC)

Odd. I always thought that Ben Jonson was a good friend of Shakespeare, although he was critical (and appreciative) of his works. This article made it seemed as if Jonson hated Shakespeare's writings and person. Could anything be further from the truth? What does the word "tempestuous" suggest? Mandel 23:49, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)

Okay, sorry but is there some reason that his article doesn't say how or why Ben Jonson died? I was checking this for a school project and that would be really nice to know. If I find it before someone else does, I'll go ahead and add it I guess.

-March 31, 2005

Should something not be said about Jonson's poetry? I know it is not much read nowadays, but my understanding was that it was very influential in its time. 16:28, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

The section on Ben Jonson's Poetry contains a grave error: It confuses his poem "To Celia" (Drink to me only with thine eyes") with his poem "Come, My Celia".

August 3, 2007 16:28, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Blathering on about ducks[edit]

Does anyone have a citation for this quote? It sounds suspect to me (un-Jacobean in its language), but I could be wrong. The Singing Badger 23:05, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Googling excerpts only produces Wikipedia and its mirrors, for what that's worth. AndyJones 07:15, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
    • Deleted it. He went to a 'Medical Treatment Centre'? Not in the 1630s! The Singing Badger 13:38, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
      • Quite right. Was in a bookshop yesterday so I quickly looked up the bio chapter of Cambridge Companion to Ben Jonson. Quote wasn't there, as it surely would have been. Definitely a hoax. 08:49, 13 May 2006 (UTC) (Not logged in but am User:AndyJones.)

I just tweaked the line about the Gunpowder Plot so that it reflects my article. Also corrected spelling of my name. Solipsistic, but . . . FT —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Famous productions of Jonson[edit]

Just a thought, but since Jonson's work has been revived in the 20th and 21st centuries, should there be a section on famous productions of his work? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:17, 14 January 2007 (UTC).


Great article, but I'm just a little confused about one detail. The account of Jonson's arrest in 1598, his appeal for benefit of clergy and subsequent conversion to Roman Catholicism: my history is generally very good, but I'm lost as to how he was given the freedom to convert to what was not a state recognised religion (especially given that five years earlier Marlowe was "fitted up" for having Catholic sympathies). Any explanations are very welcome. Absurdtrousers (talk) 14:38, 21 April 2009 (UTC)


Did he really have two sons called Benjamin? (talk) 22:20, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Incorrectly attributed painting[edit]

Could someone who knows how to edit correct the painting attribution? The painting shown here is NOT the famous C.17 portrait by Abraham van Blyenberch but a rather poor and relatively modern (C19?) copy. (Both are owned by the National Portrait Gallery, London - you can see both at their site.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 26 November 2009 (UTC) hello mi name is superstar —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Reference in Lead[edit]

These are generally deprecated when the body of the article covers the material and is referenced, but a statement has been challenged with a {{cn}} request and now has a citation. More in WP:LEADCITE. --Old Moonraker (talk) 07:16, 7 August 2010 (UTC)


At present this is dotted about the article, wherever it's relevant to incidents in Jonson's life. Would there be any benefit in creating a short new section for this, or is it better as it is, cropping up in roughly chronological order? --Old Moonraker (talk) 19:18, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

I would say yes, there would be benefit in grouping together, also in chronological order. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:04, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
OK, got round to a tilt at it. (I was going to say stab at it, but in the context that would have been inappropriate!) Suggestions? --Old Moonraker (talk) 12:40, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

dog latin[edit]

The notion that orare Ben Jonson can mean "pray for Ben Jonson" is not supportable. To say that you would need the preposition pro as in Ora [Deum] pro Ben Jonson. As the object of an infinitive, the phrase would mean "to pray to [or beg] Ben Jonson", or as the subject of an infinitive phrase, it would mean "[that] Ben Jonson prays." None of it makes any sense, of course; this silly speculation and inaccurate translation of a phrase which is not Latin but English does not belong in an encyclopedia article. Rwflammang (talk) 00:21, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

So, should anybody get round to a new ==Religion== section, as suggested above, they would need to accommodate the fact that this is a misreading, and reference it accordingly. The current source fully meets WP:RS standards, but on another page her scholarship is called into question. --Old Moonraker (talk) 11:12, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I decided to leave it out, in the end; it's better leaving it with the gravestone information. --Old Moonraker (talk) 12:43, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
But, it does need a fix, in line with User:Rwflammang's suggestion. Somewhen in the next couple of days/weeks.--Old Moonraker (talk) 07:24, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Ref added, with a quote supporting the "insupportable notion". Glad I found this, rather than having to rely on my imperfect memory of my Latin studies!--Old Moonraker (talk) 16:42, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

In Popular Culture[edit]

Does Jonson not exist in Popular Culture? Or if he does, is there some reason why this does not deserve to be included in this article? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:00, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

I've been watching this and support the removal. There's really no reason to have trivia on pages like this. It's better to have those pages link in here. Truthkeeper (talk) 23:14, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough. If that's the new policy. I still don't see why the film is considered "random films". Or why the first complete works in 60 years is considered "trivia" - that won't ever link back here. The Sandman seems a little more tenuous and will link back, although there aren't many 16th century dramatists who appear in 21st century comic books? A bit of discussion might have been useful before 3RR was broken. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:24, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
This is a tired discussion. Whey would I want to go over it all again with you. Life is short, to be wasting time with something so self evident. Sorry for reverting you though martin, but these sections are almost never a good idea. Ceoil (talk) 23:26, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you must be exhausted by now. Sorry for keeping you up. Poor old Ben probably spinning in his upright grave. Or not. Still think the film deserves to be here. But it's "two against one", so not real contest, eh? But thanks for your apology. No worries. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:36, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
No its not two against one. I wont revert you again, and lets see how we get on from here. We know each other, Im sure we can figure it out. Ceoil (talk) 23:46, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Currently (for me) it's two books against one film. But I'd prefer all three of course! A legacy section seems a good idea, although it's going to be rather a long jump of over 400 years. Yes, dw, I haven't forgotten The Prado, Ceoil. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:51, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say there couldn't be discussion. Someone removed, boldly, you reverted, and that went back and forth a few times and I watched. Then you posted and I had my say. If you can find sources, the better thing to do is to make a legacy section, have a look at the bottom of the page of Murasaki Shikibu, and do like that. The problem with trivia sections, when not sourced, is that people add random stuff like cartoons and anime and computer games and they get way out of control. I think Alice in Wonderland is like that. Truthkeeper (talk) 23:33, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, perfectly good point. You are quite right about the dangers. Maybe I can find a source to support the film here. Regards. It's just a shame that we have got to the situation where "In Popular culture" = "Trivia", especially for a 16th century poet! Martinevans123 (talk) 23:36, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that I've read countless novels where he, or Kit Marlowe or someone shows up. I'm a reader, so that's understandable. But I could add all those books and probably bloat this by 10 or more items. Then films, games, etc., and so on and it just gets out of control. If the film were a Shakespeare in Love, then yeah maybe. But meh on this. Truthkeeper (talk) 23:54, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
"Kit Marlowe", lol. But, yes, know what you mean. I guess it's a wannabe-Shakepeare-in-love. But maybe that demeans Ben, who was never a wannabe-bard (that Telegraph article is quite good, although what it has to do with The Olympics is anyone's guess!) Martinevans123 (talk) 00:02, 22 October 2012 (UTC)


So, huge sections of this article are just copy-pasted from other places on the internet and aren't cited. It also makes for some disorganized and confusing reading. Someone who knows a thing or two about the subject should try to re-work it. Brighamhb (talk) 14:20, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

If you believe that "huge sections of this article are just copy-pasted from other places on the internet", then I think you should remove them asap. User:Moonriddengirl has a lot of experienec with copy-vio etc. Perhaps we should ask her for some advice. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:31, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Jonson's date of death[edit]

Just for information – according to The Cornishman newspaper, on 15 August 1878 (page 3), Johnson died on 16 August 1637. Not 6 August 1637. Jowaninpensans (talk) 12:57, 22 March 2015 (UTC)


Is Drummond the only source for Jonson's military career? Do we know approximate dates for when he was in Flanders? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arnold Rothstein1921 (talkcontribs) 14:46, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

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