William Webbe

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William Webbe (fl. 1568–1591)[1] was an English critic and translator. Little is known about him except that he attended Trinity College, Cambridge,[2] and was a tutor for distinguished families.

He wrote a Discourse of English Poetrie (1586), in which he discusses prosody and reviews English poetry up to his own day. He also translated Virgil's first two Eclogues. A letter by Webbe to Robert Wilmot (fl. 1568–1608) is prepended to the 1591 edition of Wilmot's play Tragedie of Tancred and Gismund.[3] The letter, praising Wilmot for having decided to publish the tragedy, acts as a prefacing endorsement of the play.


  1. ^ "Webbe, William" A Dictionary of Writers and their Works. Ed. Michael Cox. Oxford University Press, 2001.
  2. ^ "Webbe, William (WB569W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ Wilmot, Robert. The Tragedie of Tancred and Gismund. London, 1591.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource 

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