Breton, Nicholas

(?1545-?1626)
   The details of his life are scant, but he was born into a wealthy family. His father died when Nicholas was 14, and his mother married the poet George Gascoigne (see entry). Breton (pronounced Britton) was educated at Oriel College, Oxford (so it is thought), but settled in London, where he spent most of his life. He was a satirical, religious, romance, and pastoral writer in both prose and verse and became the author of over 50 books and poems. Among his patrons were King James I and Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke. His finest lyrics are included in England's Helicon (see Edmund Bolton) and in his collection the Passionate Shepheard.Some of his poems: "A Passionate Soñett made by the Kinge of Scots," "A Solemne Long Enduring Passion," "Amoris Lachrimae: For the Death of Sir Philip Sidney," "An Assurance," "An Epitaph upon Poet Spencer," "Aspiration," "Beauty," "Faithful unto death," "Heart-Pain," "Love Rejected," "Sir Phillipp Sydney's Epitaph," "Sweete Penelope," "The Countesse of Penbrook's Passion," "The Honor of Valor," "The Nightingale and Phillis," "The Pilgrimage to Paradise," "What is Hell?"
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu :8080/search/epoetry/ author.html). Oldpoetry (www.oldpoetry.com). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The New Oxford Book of Sixteenth Century Verse. Emrys Jones, ed. Oxford University Press, 2002. The New Penguin Book of English Verse. Paul Keegan, ed. Penguin Books, 2000. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Works in Verse and Prose of Nicholas Breton. Rev. Alexander B. Grosart, ed. Edinburgh University Press, 1879.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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