English Renaissance Translation Theory

English Renaissance Translation Theory

Edited by Neil Rhodes
Gordon Kendal
Louise Wilson
Andrew Hadfield
Neil Rhodes
Volume: 9
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 558
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46n3f2
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  • Book Info
    English Renaissance Translation Theory
    Book Description:

    This volume is the first attempt to establish a body of work representing English thinking about the practice of translation in the early modern period. The texts assembled cover the long sixteenth century from the age of Caxton to the reign of James 1 and are divided into three sections: 'Translating the Word of God', 'Literary Translation' and 'Translation in the Academy'. They are accompanied by a substantial introduction, explanatory and textual notes, and a glossary and bibliography.

    eISBN: 978-1-78188-092-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. GENERAL EDITORS’ FOREWORD
    (pp. xi-xi)
    Andrew Hadfield and Neil Rhodes

    The aim of theMHRA Tudor & Stuart Translationsis to create a representative library of works translated into English during the early modern period for the use of scholars, students, and the wider public. The series will include both substantial single works and selections of texts from major authors, with the emphasis being on the works that were most familiar to early modern readers. The texts themselves will be newly edited with substantial introductions, notes, and glossaries, and will be published both in print and online.

    The series aims to restore to view a major part of English Renaissance...

  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xii-xiii)
    Neil Rhodes
  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xiv-xiv)
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-67)

    The aim of this volume is to provide a companion to the editions in the MHRATudor and Stuart Translationsseries by assembling the most significant discussions of the principles underlying English translation practice from Caxton through to the 1620s. It also aims to extend and complement the extremely valuable collections of English Renaissance literary criticism edited by Brian Vickers and Gavin Alexander, neither of which includes much material that is explicitly concerned with translation.¹ The project does, of course, presuppose that translation in this period can be viewed as a distinct category of composition in the first place, which...

  7. FURTHER READING
    (pp. 68-70)
  8. PART ONE: TRANSLATING THE WORD OF GOD
    • 1. William Tyndale, The Obedience of a Christian Man (1528)
      (pp. 73-79)

      [William Tyndale (1494?–1536) was born in Gloucestershire and educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford (later incorporated into Hertford College). He is the translator of the first printed English Bibles: a New Testament printed at Cologne in 1525, most of which is lost; a complete New Testament printed at Worms in 1526; and the first five books of the Old Testament (the Pentateuch) printed at Antwerp by Martin de Keyser in 1530. A revised New Testament appeared from the same press at Antwerp in 1534 and much of this and the Pentateuch was assimilated in revised form into the King James...

    • 2. William Tyndale, The First Book of Moses called Genesis (1530)
      (pp. 79-84)

      [The book described on its title-page asThe First Book of Moses called Genesisis in fact Tyndale’s version of the Pentateuch, translated from the original Hebrew (see Introduction, pp. 11–12). It is the first translation from Hebrew into English and all subsequent English versions of the early books of the Old Testament are indebted to it. Tyndale went on to translate Jonah (1531) and Joshua to 2 Chronicles, which John Rogers used for the ‘Matthew Bible’ of 1537. Each book of Tyndale’s Pentateuch has a prologue, but it is the opening address to the reader that describes his...

    • 3. Thomas More, A Dialogue Concerning Heresies (1529)
      (pp. 84-96)

      [Sir Thomas More (1478–1535) was born in London and educated at Oxford where he studied under the Greek scholars Thomas Linacre and William Grocyn. He then trained as a lawyer and was called to the Bar in 1502. He was a long-standing friend of Erasmus, whom he met in London in 1499; he and Erasmus collaborated on Latin translations of Lucian, and Erasmus’sMoriae Encomium[Praise of Folly] (1511) puns on his name. More’s own most famous work isUtopia(1516). His early humanist activities were superseded by theological disputation when he was employed by Henry VIII to reply...

    • 4. William Tyndale, An Answer to More’s Dialogue (1531)
      (pp. 96-101)

      [Tyndale’sAnswerto More’sDialoguebegins by addressing More’s claim that he has deliberately mistranslated certain key words, and then goes through the four books answering what appear to be the most plausible charges against him. Much of theAnsweris also cast as dialogue. The passages here deal with the translation ofecclesiaand whether or not the Church has proscribed Bible translation.

      See William Tyndale,An Answer unto Sir Thomas Mores Dialogue, ed. by Anne M. O’Donnell and Jared Wicks (Washington, DC: Catholic University Press of America, 2000)]

      Wherefore inasmuch as the clergy, as the nature of those...

    • 5. Thomas More, The Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer (1532)
      (pp. 101-109)

      [More’sConfutationof Tyndale’sAnswerruns to nearly two thousand pages, quoting Tyndale and rebutting him paragraph by paragraph and sometimes sentence by sentence. The humanist tenor of theDialogue of Heresieshas been replaced by a sustained polemic supported by a vast amount of theological scholarship. The passages here return to the question of mistranslation and respond to Tyndale’s attacks on the ‘poetry’ of More’s humanist writings and his collaboration with Erasmus.

      See More,The Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer, ed. by L. A. Schuster et al.,CWM8, 3 vols (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973).]

      So was it...

    • 6. Miles Coverdale, Biblia: The Bible Faithfully Translated into English (1535)
      (pp. 109-112)

      [Miles Coverdale (1488–1569) was an Augustinian friar based in Cambridge who came under the influence of the religious reformers, especially Robert Barnes, during the 1520s. In exile on the continent from 1528, where he assisted Tyndale with the Pentateuch, he was responsible for the first complete printed English Bible in 1535, when he returned to England. He went on to produce the ‘Great Bible’ of 1539, which was based on a revision of the Matthew Bible of 1537, not his own earlier text. He was exiled twice more: in the 1540s, and in the 1550s under Mary, though he...

    • 7. Nicholas Udall, The Paraphrase of Erasmus upon the New Testament (1548)
      (pp. 112-119)

      [Nicholas Udall (1504–66) was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, a recent foundation which promoted the study of Greek. He was implicated in the distribution of Lutheran works there in 1527–8. His first publication was a manual for conversational Latin,Floures for Latine Spekynge(1534), based on Terence and many times reprinted, but his best known work is the seminal English comedyRalph Roister Doister, not published until 1566. In 1534 he was also appointed Headmaster of Eton. His first translation of Erasmus was theApophthegms(1542), and in 1543 he was appointed by the Queen, Katherine Parr,...

    • 8. Thomas Norton, The Institution of Christian Religion by Calvin (1562)
      (pp. 119-124)

      [Thomas Norton (1530/2–84) was educated at Michaelhouse, Cambridge and the Inner Temple. By 1550 he had become tutor to the children of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset (after he had lost the position of Protector) and inc. 1556 he married Margaret Cranmer, daughter of the martyred Archbishop. His early translation work included the preparation of the index for theParaphrasesof Erasmus (see 7. above). As an original writer he is best known forGorboduc, co-authored with Thomas Sackville, the first English blank verse tragedy. As a parliamentarian and lawyer he was active in the persecution of Catholics:...

    • 9. Gregory Martin, A Discovery of the Manifold Corruptions of the Scriptures (1582)
      (pp. 124-135)

      [Gregory Martin (1542?–1582) was a Scholar and subsequently Fellow and Lecturer in Greek at St John’s College, Oxford, where he formed a life-long friendship with Edmund Campion. A committed Catholic, he resigned his Fellowship in 1568 for religious reasons and became tutor to the son of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. After the Duke’s arrest in 1569 he fled to the recently founded English College at Douai where he was joined by Campion. Ordained a priest in 1573, Martin later spent eighteenth months teaching English seminarians in Rome before returning to the college in 1578, when it transferred to...

    • 10. William Fulke, A Defence of the Translations of the Holy Scriptures (1583)
      (pp. 135-148)

      [William Fulke (1536/7–1589) was a graduate of St John’s College, Cambridge and wrote two early scientific books attacking astrology and meteorology before returning to St John’s as a Fellow in 1564. As part of a radical Puritan faction he was involved in confrontation and controversy from early in his career and this helped to prime him for his assault on Martin and the Catholic English Bible in the 1580s. With the patronage of the Earl of Leicester he became Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1578, serving as Vice-Chancellor of the university from 1581–82, and he succeeded Bishop...

    • 11. Gregory Martin, The New Testament Translated Faithfully into English (1582)
      (pp. 148-155)

      [Martin’sNew Testamentwas presumably undertaken at the request of William Allen, founder of the English College at Douai. The source text is the Vulgate, so this is a translation of a translation, and it is also extremely literal. However, Martin’s Greek language skills enabled him to compare the Vulgate with its Greek originals and this is reflected in the notes and commentary. He was assisted by Allen himself, John Bristow, William Rainolds (brother of the King James Bible translator, John Rainolds), and Thomas Worthington. Bristow was probably the author of the notes, which were designed not merely to explain...

    • 12. William Fulke, The New Testament, with a Confutation of Manifest Impiety (1589)
      (pp. 155-167)

      [Fulke’sNew Testamentaimed to provide a comprehensive refutation of Martin’s work, including its all-important annotations. The text of the Rheims NT is presented in parallel with that of the Bishops’ Bible of 1568. In order to complete this massive project Fulke worked with two assistants for nine months in 1587–88 while lodging at the London home of his publisher, Christopher Barker. The topicality of the work is underlined by the fact that its completion coincided with the defeat of the Great Armada, Philip of Spain’s attempt to return England to the Catholic faith.]

      1.¹ If the whole Bible...

    • 13. Thomas James, A Commentary upon the Canticle of Canticles by Brucioli (1598)
      (pp. 167-171)

      [Thomas James (1572/3–1629) was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, where he was elected to a Fellowship. He was appointed as the first Librarian of the Bodleian Library in 1602 and corresponded on library matters with the founder, Thomas Bodley himself until the latter’s death in 1613, proposing the deposit arrangement with the Stationers’ Company in London. The translation of Brucioli was his first publication, and another translation,The Moral Philosophy of the Stoicksby Guillaume du Vair, appeared in the same year, but the rest of his large output consisted mainly of anti-Catholic polemic. The source...

    • 14. Francis Marbury, in A Treatise of God’s Effectual Calling by Robert Rollock (1603)
      (pp. 171-173)

      [Francis Marbury (1555–1611), educated at Christ’s College, Cambridge, was a Puritan preacher and author of a moral interlude, ‘The Contract of Marriage between Wit and Wisdom’. He was also the father of the pioneer American settler, Anne Hutchinson. The text reproduced here is from Marbury’s address to the reader prefatory to Henry Holland’s translation of a Latin work by Robert Rollock.

      Robert Rollock (1555–99), minister in the Church of Scotland, was taught Hebrew by James Melville at the University of St Andrews and in 1583 became master of the new college at Edinburgh. His application of Ramist dialectic...

    • 15. The King James Bible
      (pp. 174-201)

      [William Barlow (c . 1565–1613), educated at St John’s College, Cambridge; Dean of Chester at the time of the Hampton Court conference and subsequently Bishop of Lincoln. An opponent of the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and a supporter of the Divine Right of Kings, he was employed by James to preach against the Scottish Presbyterian, Andrew Melville. He was a KJB translator, leading the second Westminster company.

      The Hampton Court conference was convened in January 1604 in order to consider demands from the Puritans to be exempted from certain ceremonial Church practices. These demands were made in the millenary...

    • 16. George Wither, The Psalms
      (pp. 201-212)

      [George Wither (1588–1667) studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, and the Inns of Court, and worked in a variety of literary genres throughout a long career. As a satirist he was the author of the highly successfulAbuses Stript and Whipt(1613); he was a writer of pastoral, forming part of a circle with William Browne, Christopher Brooke, John Davies of Hereford, and Michael Drayton, sometimes known as the Jacobean Spenserians; and he publishedA Collection of Emblemsin 1635. A pirated edition of hisWorksappeared in 1620. During the Civil Wars he fought on the Parliamentarian side, was...

  9. PART TWO: LITERARY TRANSLATION
    • 17. William Caxton, The Recuyell of the Histories of Troy (1473–74)
      (pp. 215-220)

      [William Caxton (c. 1422–1491) was born in Kent and became a mercer and merchant adventurer who turned to translation and printing quite late in his career. Based for thirty years in Bruges, he became governor of the English Nation there in 1463. As a diplomat mixing with the aristocracy he would have been aware of the trade in luxury manuscripts between the Burgundian court and England and realised that this could be commercially exploited by a printing press. This was set up first at Bruges in 1472 and then from 1475–76 at Westminster, where the German Wynkyn de...

    • 18. William Caxton, Eneydos [The Aeneid] (1490)
      (pp. 220-224)

      [The translation of theAeneidwas dedicated to Arthur, Prince of Wales (before he could read). Caxton’s work is at some distance from Virgil’s original, as Douglas contemptuously points out in the Prologue to his own translation (see 19. 59–121), leaving out large parts of the poem and giving particular prominence to the story of Dido and Aeneas. The source text is Guillaume le Roy’s French version (1483) of an Italian paraphrase, together with Boccaccio’sDe Casibus illustrium virorum. See alsoCaxton’s Eneydos, ed. by W. T. Culley and F. J. Furnivall (London: EETS, 1890);Caxton’s Own Prose, ed....

    • 19. Gavin Douglas, Eneados [The Aeneid] (1513)
      (pp. 224-233)

      [Gavin Douglas (c. 1476–1522) was born into a noble Scottish family and was a member of the regency council after James IV was killed at Flodden in 1513, the year he completed his translation of theAeneid. His principal earlier work was the dreamallegory,The Palace of Honour(1501) and he is also the author of a moral allegory,King Heart. The humanist scholars John Major and Polydore Vergil were among his acquaintance. He was appointed Bishop of Dunkeld in 1515 and died in London, probably of the plague, while on a diplomatic mission to secure help from Henry...

    • 20. Thomas Elyot, The Doctrinal of Princes by Isocrates (1533)
      (pp. 233-235)

      [Sir Thomas Elyot (c. 1490–1546) was a humanist and diplomat whose best known work isThe Governor(1531). It is unclear whether he attended Oxford University, but he seems to have studied law at the Middle Temple and medicine under Thomas Linacre, who taught him Greek. He became part of Sir Thomas More’s circle and produced an English version of the pseudo-LucianicCynicus, which More had translated from Greek into Latin. He was made ambassador to the Emperor Charles V in the yearThe Governorwas published, dedicated to Henry VIII, but the embassy was unsuccessful and he fell...

    • 21. Thomas Elyot, The Knowledge which Maketh a Wise Man (1533)
      (pp. 235-237)

      [The book is part of Elyot’s wider agenda for the dissemination of knowledge. It is related to the translation of Isocrates in its exploration of the role of the counsellor to monarchy, but it also reflects Elyot’s other Greek interests as it takes the form of a series of dialogues between Plato and Aristippus. The preface uses the familiar complaint against detractors who draw poison from ‘sweet milk’ to contrast royal generosity and support for literary endeavours.]

      The Proem of Sir Thomas Elyot, Knight.

      God, unto whom all men’s hearts be opened and the will of man speaketh, is my...

    • 22. Thomas Phaer, The Regiment of Life [Jehan Goeurot] (c. 1544)
      (pp. 237-240)

      [Thomas Phaer (1510–1560) was a lawyer and physician practising in Wales, whoseBook of Childrenis regarded as a foundational work of paediatrics. He is best-known as the co-author of the first complete translation of theAeneidinto English (if the language of Douglas’s poem is disqualified), which went through eight editions between 1558 and 1620. The work was completed by Thomas Twyne after Phaer’s death. Written in rhyming fourteeners, Phaer’s translation was highly praised in the Elizabethan period (this was one of the few points on which Gabriel Harvey and Thomas Nashe agreed), and he was described by...

    • 23. Elizabeth Tudor (Princess Elizabeth), ‘The Glass of the Sinful Soul’ [Marguerite of Navarre] (1544)
      (pp. 240-242)

      [Elizabeth (1533–1603) was educated by Protestant tutors in the 1540s, appointed by Henry VIII but supervised by her stepmother, Katherine Parr. She became an impressive linguist, with competence in Latin, Greek, French, Italian, and Spanish. Her first Latin tutor was William Grindal, succeded by Roger Ascham in 1548, who also taught her Greek and who claimed inThe Schoolmasterthat she continued to read Greek daily after she ascended the throne. Her Latin was of an order that enabled her not only to deal with routine government and diplomatic business, but also to make extempore speeches on her visits...

    • 24. Mildred Cecil, ‘An Homily or Sermon of St Basil’ (c. 1548)
      (pp. 242-244)

      [Mildred Cecil (1526–89) was the eldest daughter of Sir Anthony and Lady Anne Cooke and one of five remarkable and highly educated sisters. Walter Haddon described a visit to their home as like ‘living among the Tusculans’ and Roger Ascham specifically praised Mildred’s knowledge of Greek, ranking her second only to Lady Jane Grey for her scholarly accomplishments. Her sister Anne, who became the mother of Francis Bacon, translated sermons by Bernardo Ochino and also published a translation of Bishop Jewel’sApologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae; Elizabeth translated a work on the doctrine of transubstantiation,A Way of Reconciliation, and married...

    • 25. William Thomas, ‘The Book of the Sphere’ (c. 1551)
      (pp. 244-247)

      [William Thomas (d. 1554) was of Welsh descent, though nothing further is known about his parentage and education. He travelled in Italy in the 1540s, publishingThe Historie of Italie(1549), which was heavily indebted to Machiavelli, and the first English-Italian primer,Principal Rules of the Italian Grammer(1550). He also published a narrative of his travels in Italian (1552). Employed by the Privy Council under Edward VI, he became involved with Wyatt’s rebellion on Mary’s accession and was tried and executed for treason.

      The preface to the translation of Sacrobosco is an early defence of English as a modern...

    • 26. Henry Parker (Lord Morley), The Triumphs of Petrarch (c. 1555)
      (pp. 247-249)

      [Henry Parker, 10thBaron Morley (1480/81–1556) grew up in the household of Lady Margaret Beaufort. A conservative in religion, he was – extraordinarily – on good terms with both Thomas Cromwell and Mary Tudor, presenting copies of Machiavelli (includingIl Principe) to Cromwell and devotional works to Mary. Most of his writing remained in manuscript and the translation of Petrarch was not published until the end of his life, when he wrote the preface to the young Lord Maltravers.

      Petrarch (1304–1374) is one of the three Italian writers (with Dante and Boccaccio) credited with having raised the Italian vernacular to...

    • 27. Nicholas Grimald, Cicero’s Three Books of Duties (1556)
      (pp. 250-257)

      [Nicholas Grimald (1519/20–1562) studied first at Cambridge and then at Oxford, where he became a Fellow of Merton College. A friend of John Bale and a protégé of the Protestant Bishop of London, Nicholas Ridley, he seems to have changed his religion under Mary in order to escape possible execution. His writings include Latin dramas on Christian themes, forty poems in the first edition of Tottel’sSonges and Sonnetes(1557), which contain examples of blank verse and the heroic couplet, and various translations mentioned by John Bale in his catalogue of famous British writers (including Hesiod, Xenophon, and Plato),...

    • 28. John Dolman, Tusculan Questions [Cicero] (1561)
      (pp. 257-263)

      [John Dolman was born in Newbury, Berkshire, son of the clothier Thomas Dolman, who was manager to John Wincombe, fictionalised by Thomas Deloney inJack of Newbury. He is mentioned in Laurence Humphrey’sLife of Bishop Jewelas one of Jewel’s pupils at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he graduated BA in 1557. He was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1560, when he was working on his translation of Cicero, and he followed this with a contribution to the 1563 edition of theMirror for Magistrateson the tragedy of Lord Hastings.

      Cicero wrote theTusculan Questions(also known...

    • 29. Laurence Humphrey, Interpretatio linguarum [The translation of languages] (1559)
      (pp. 263-294)

      [Laurence Humphrey (1527?-1590) was among other things a Protestant theologian and a president of Magdalen College, Oxford. His work on translation, concerned primarily but not exclusively with translation from Greek and Hebrew into Latin, has a practical orientation. He aims to advise and encourage translators and expositors of all kinds, and to raise the status of their craft. For himinterpretatiohas a wider connotation than the modern ‘translation’ and – to indicate various aspects of linguistic mediation – he alternates it with a number of other words (e.g.convertere,explicare,exponere,exprimere,imitare,reddere,tradere,traducere,transferre,transfundere,vertere), each having...

    • 30. Thomas Hoby, The Courtier of Count Baldessar Castilio (1561)
      (pp. 295-304)

      [Sir Thomas Hoby (1530–66) matriculated at St John’s College, Cambridge, in May 1545, but left in 1547 without taking a degree. This may have been too late for him to have had much direct contact with John Cheke, the inspirational college tutor and Regius Professor of Greek, who had been appointed tutor to Prince Edward in 1544. Hoby then spent a year studying with Martin Bucer at Strasbourg. A committed Protestant, he remained abroad during Mary’s reign and wrote about his experience of European courtly circles in his travel journals (unpublished until 1902). This included a stay at Padua...

    • 31. Richard Eden, Letter to Sir William Cecil (1562)
      (pp. 305-307)

      [Richard Eden (c. 1520–1576) attended Christ’s College, Cambridge, from 1534 to 1537 and then Queen’s College, where he was tutored by Sir Thomas Smith, friend of Cheke and teacher of William Cecil. In 1552 he became secretary to Cecil and in that capacity produced translations of historical and topographical works as part of England’s first tentative plans to challenge Spain as an imperial power. The most important of these isThe Decades of the New Worlde or West India(1555) from Pietro Martire d’Anghiera (Peter Martyr) and Gonzalo Oviedo. His translation of Martin Cortes’s work on navigation asThe...

    • 32. Arthur Golding, The Histories of Trogus Pompeius (1564)
      (pp. 307-309)

      [Arthur Golding (1535/36–1606) studied at Jesus College, Cambridge, and in the early 1560s was employed by Sir William Cecil, living for a time at Cecil’s home on the Strand. Between 1562 and 1565 he published five translations from Latin, including Trogus Pompeius and (on the instruction of Cecil) the first English version of Caesar’sGallic Wars. Much the most famous of these translations, however, is that of Ovid’sMetamorphosesinto fourteeners, which was widely influential, leaving its mark onA Midsummer Night’s DreamandThe Tempest. In later life he published numerous translations of religious works from both Latin...

    • 33. Thomas Drant, A Medicinable Moral [Horace’s satires] (1566)
      (pp. 309-312)

      [Thomas Drant (c. 1540–1578) studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he became a Fellow, and later held various ecclesiastical appointments, most notably that of Archdeacon of Lewes. Although he was known principally as a preacher, his work on epigram and satire in English was innovative (his first publication included ‘certain of the special articles of the epigram’).A Medicinable Morallwas followed by a translation of Horace’sEpistles, including theArt of Poetry, which was published together with the satires [Sermones] in 1567, and in 1568 byEpigrams and Sentences Spiritual in Versfrom Gregory of Nazianus. Other...

    • 34. Thomas Gale, Certain Works of Galen’s (1566)
      (pp. 312-316)

      [Thomas Gale (c. 1507–1567) was a London surgeon and a spokesman for the Company of Barber Surgeons, who also served in the armies of both Henry VIII and Philip II of Spain. His experience as an army surgeon informs his treatiseCertain Works of Chirurgery(1563), which deals extensively with the treatment of wounds. This important work opens with a dialogue on the theory of surgery.

      Certain Works of Galen’sclaims to be the first English translation of the Greek physician who was still the principal medical authority in the sixteenth century. (The first translation, via French, actually appears...

    • 35. William Painter, The Second Tome of the Palace of Pleasure (1567)
      (pp. 316-320)

      [William Painter (1540?-1595) enjoyed a lucrative career as a civil servant, working as Clerk to Her Majesty’s Ordnance at the Tower of London, a position which enabled him to embezzle large sums of money. The work that becameThe Palace of Pleasure(1566) was originally entered in the Stationers’ Register as ‘The City of Civility’, a title that reflects the first stories in the collection, which are translations from Livy and other classical authors. The success of thePalaceenabled him to bring out a second ‘tome’ the following year, and the two volumes were republished together in 1575. After...

    • 36. Thomas Wilson, The Three Orations of Demosthenes (1570)
      (pp. 320-328)

      [Sir Thomas Wilson (1523/24–1581) was educated at Eton under Nicholas Udall, who became a life-long friend, and at King’s College, Cambridge. At Cambridge he became part of Cheke’s Protestant humanist circle, which included Roger Ascham and Sir Thomas Smith. He is best known as the author of the first comprehensive rhetoric in English,The Arte of Rhetorique(1553), a companion to his earlier logic manual,The Rule of Reason(1551). On the accession of Mary he left the country to study at the University of Padua alongside other exiles, Cheke and Hoby, and it was here that he made...

    • 37. Margaret Tyler, The Mirror of Princely Deeds and Knighthood [Ortúñez de Calahorra] (1578)
      (pp. 328-333)

      [Margaret Tyler (d. 1595) was employed in the household of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, from about 1558 to 1564, and may have been the wife of Norfolk’s factor or land agent, John Tyler. Her employer, who was the father of the dedicatee of the translation, was executed in 1572 for his part in a Catholic plot against Elizabeth. Tyler’s own religion has been debated, but it seems unlikely that she was herself a Catholic. TheMirroris the first translation of a work of secular literature by a woman to be printed in English and Tyler’s preface offers a...

    • 38. George Pettie, The Civil Conversation of Master Steven Guazzo (1581)
      (pp. 333-336)

      [George Pettie (c. 1548–1589) was a Scholar of Christ Church, Oxford, where he was friendly with the neo-Latin dramatist William Gager, graduating in 1569. He then travelled on the continent and served as a soldier. His best known work is the collection of storiesA Petite Pallace of Pettie his Pleasure(1576), which capitalised on the vogue for short prose fiction initiated by Painter. Although the stories are taken from classical sources, they are closer in spirit to the Italiannovellaand are stylistically significant for introducing an early form of Euphuism.

      Stefano Guazzo’sLa Civil Conversatione(1574) was...

    • 39. Richard Stanyhurst, The Aeneid (1582)
      (pp. 336-343)

      [Richard Stanyhurst (1547–1615) was born in Dublin and studied at University College, Oxford, graduating in 1568. A committed Catholic, he became a protégé of Edmund Campion, who encouraged his work on Porphyry’s logic which he published in 1570. He also collaborated with Campion on a history of Ireland and contributed to the Irish section of Holinshed’sChronicles(1577). Emigrating to the Low Countries, his translation ofAeneid1–4 was first published at Leiden in 1582 and again the following year in London. Stanyhurst lived abroad for the rest of his life, mainly in the Spanish Netherlands, but with...

    • 40. N. W., in Samuel Daniel, The Worthy Tract of Paulus Jovius (1585)
      (pp. 343-346)

      [‘N.W.’ remains unidentified and may be a pseudonym for Daniel himself. Samuel Daniel (1562/63–1619) was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, where he became friends with John Florio, later marrying his sister. One of the most important poets of the great literary decade of the 1590s, Daniel was widely read by Shakespeare. He made his name with the sonnet sequenceDelia(1591) and further established his reputation as a poet withThe Civil Wars(1594), which left its mark on Shakespeare’s Histories. His thinking about literature is reflected inMusophilus(1599) and theDefence of Ryme(1603), which makes a...

    • 41. John Harington, Orlando Furioso in English Heroical Verse [Ariosto] (1591)
      (pp. 346-352)

      [Sir John Harington (1560–1612) was the godson of Queen Elizabeth and William Herbert, 2ndEarl of Pembroke. He was educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge, which he entered in 1576, graduating in 1578. While at Cambridge he was given advice by William Cecil to follow Cheke’s method of double translation to develop facility of expression. In addition to his translation of Ariosto Harington wrote epigrams in imitation of Martial, presenting a collection to Lucy, Countess of Bedford (dedicatee of Florio’s Montaigne), and published a frivolous treatise on sanitary plumbing,The Metamorphosis of Ajax(1596). In 1604 he presented...

    • 42. Thomas Danett, The History of Philip de Commines (1596)
      (pp. 353-355)

      [Thomas Danett (1543–1601?) was tutored abroad during Mary’s reign by John Aylmer, future Bishop of London, and later studied at Gray’s Inn and Jesus College, Cambridge. He was employed on diplomatic missions in France and Spain in the service of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in the 1560s and 1570s and became an MP for Maidstone in 1572. His first publication wasThe Description of the Low Countries(1593), taken from Guicciardini, and his last a history of France up to 1559 (1600). He was related to William Cecil, Lord Burghley, who was also the dedicatee of theDescription...

    • 43. Elizabeth Tudor (Queen Elizabeth I), ‘Horace’s De Arte Poetica’ (1598)
      (pp. 355-357)

      [Elizabeth’s translation of the first 178 lines of Horace’sArt of Poetryis preserved in a manuscript which also contains Plutarch’s moral essay ‘On Curiosity’, also made in 1598, and Boethius’sOn the Consolation of Philosophy, made in 1593. It was evidently done quickly and there is considerable obscurity in the syntax. The metre is highly irregular, but the basic pattern is poulter’s measure, i.e. alternating fourteen-and twelve-syllable lines. Although this was an old-fashioned metre by the late 1590s, Chapman still thought that the fourteener was appropriate as an English equivalent for Greek hexameters in his first published translation of...

    • 44. George Chapman, The Iliad
      (pp. 357-373)

      [George Chapman (1559/60–1634) was born in Hitchin in Hertfordshire, which had a grammar school of some repute, though there is no record of his education either there or at university. He did, however, become one of the most learned playwrights of the English Renaissance, compared by some with Ben Jonson, as well as a considerable poet and translator. Most of his work for the stage was performed in the private theatres by the two principal children’s companies, the Children of the Chapel and Paul’s Boys. His most famous play isBussy d’Ambois(1603–04), which deals with serious political...

    • 45. Philemon Holland, The Roman History [Livy] (1600)
      (pp. 373-379)

      [Philemon Holland (1552–1637) was the son of a Protestant clergyman who took his family abroad during Mary’s reign. He was educated at Chelmsford grammar school and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a Fellow from 1573 to 1579. On marriage he became a schoolmaster in Coventry and began his huge output of translation from the classics when he was nearly fifty. In addition to his Livy and Pliny he published translations of Plutarch’sMoralia(1603), Suetonius’sHistory of Twelve Caesars(1606) and, eventually, Xenophon’sCyropaedia(1632), which had originally been commissioned by King James as a gift for Prince...

    • 46. Philemon Holland, The History of the World [Pliny] (1601)
      (pp. 379-382)

      [Pliny the Elder’s encyclopaedia of the natural world,Naturalis Historia, was completed in thirty-seven volumes in AD 77 and had considerable indirect influence in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The first printed edition was published at Venice in 1469 by the German brothers Johann and Wendelin of Speyer. There was an abridgement of the work in a French translation by Pierre de Changy (Paris, 1542), USTC 4035, which was used by I. A. (possibly the printer John Apsley) for the first English translation,A Summarie of the Antiquities and Wonders of the Worlde(London, 1566), reprinted in 1585 (STC 20031,...

    • 47. John Florio, The Essays of Montaigne (1603)
      (pp. 382-398)

      [John Florio (1553–1625) was the son of an Italian immigrant, who was supported in England by William Cecil and other powerful figures, and an Englishwoman. Between 1578 and 1583 he lived in Oxford where he gave Italian lessons, matriculating at the university in 1581. Here he became friendly with Samuel Daniel and married his sister. His first publications were Italian language manuals and he also produced the first comprehensive Italian dictionary,A Worlde of Wordes, in 1598. His ornate prose style and elaborate flattery of patrons were parodied by Donne inThe Courtier’s Library, but some of the newfangled...

    • 48. Richard Carew, A World of Wonders [Henri Estienne] (1607)
      (pp. 398-402)

      [Richard Carew (1555–1620), a native of Cornwall, entered Christ Church, Oxford, where he met Sir Philip Sidney and William Camden. He was one of the founding members, with Camden, of the Society for Antiquaries and published an essay on ‘The Excellencie of the English Tongue’ in the second edition of Camden’sRemaines(1614). He published a translation of the first five cantos of Tasso’sGerusalemme Liberatain 1594, which was superseded by Edward Fairfax’s complete version (1600), but he is best known for hisSurvey of Cornwall(1602), dedicated to Sir Walter Raleigh.

      Henri Estienne and his father, Robert,...

    • 49. John Healey, Theophrastus’ Characters (1616)
      (pp. 402-404)

      [John Healey (c. 1585–c. 1616) attended St John’s College, Cambridge, and then travelled in Europe from 1603–04. A Catholic, he was interrogated at York Castle in the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot. His major work is the translation of Augustine’sCity of Godwith the commentary by Vives (1610), but he was also capable of writing in an entirely different style of exuberant comic prose, illustrated byThe Discoverie of a New World(1609), his translation of Joseph Hall’s Latin satireMundus alter idem. In 1610 he published translations of two Greek philosophical texts by Epictetus and Cebes...

  10. PART THREE: TRANSLATION IN THE ACADEMY
    • 50. John Palsgrave, Acolastus (1540)
      (pp. 407-411)

      [John Palsgrave (d. 1554) graduated from Cambridge in 1504 and then studied in Paris. From 1513 he was a tutor in the most powerful families in England, teaching Henry VIII’s younger sister, Mary, and his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, and later the sons of the Duke of Norfolk and Thomas Cromwell. He was also highly regarded in humanist circles and was recommended to Erasmus by Thomas More. Ordained priest in 1533, he was presented with a living in Northamptonshire by one of his former pupils, Charles Blount, 5thBaron Mountjoy, a patron of humanist learning whose father had been tutored...

    • 51. Roger Ascham, The Schoolmaster (1570)
      (pp. 411-426)

      [Roger Ascham (1514/15–1568) studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he excelled in Greek, encouraged by the young John Cheke. Elected Fellow in 1534, he tried unsuccessfully to succeed Cheke in the Regius Chair of Greek when Cheke was appointed tutor to Prince Edward in 1544, but he did become Reader in Greek at St John’s and public orator of the university in place of Cheke in 1546. When Princess Elizabeth’s first tutor, William Grindal (a former pupil of Ascham), died of the plague in 1548, Elizabeth insisted on having Ascham as his replacement. Under his regime Elizabeth studied...

    • 52. Abraham Fleming, The Bucolics of Virgil (1575)
      (pp. 426-430)

      [Abraham Fleming (c. 1552–1607) was a sizar (a poor scholar) at Peterhouse, Cambridge, from 1570, and published his translation of Virgil’sEclogues(also known as theBucolics) as a student. Before graduating in 1582 he had already worked for a number of London publishing houses as a translator, editor, and indexer, and he eventually contributed in various ways to more than 50 books. These included a translation of Aelian asThe Registre of Hystoriesand the index for Barnabe Googe’s popular translation of Palingenius,The Zodiake of Life, both of which appeared the year after hisBucolics. His most...

    • 53. Maurice Kyffin, Andria: The First Comedy of Terence, in English (1588)
      (pp. 431-435)

      [Maurice Kyffin (c. 1555–1598) came from the Welsh-speaking town of Oswestry on the English-Welsh border and hismagnum opuswas a translation into Welsh of Bishop John Jewel’s defence of the Church of England,Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae(1562), which he published in 1595. After moving to London in 1578 he became tutor to the sons of Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, the co-author ofGorboduc, and was acquainted with the most distinguished writers and scholars of the day, including John Dee, William Camden, Edmund Spenser, and Sir John Harington. He was the author of a celebrated patriotic poem,The Blessedness...

    • 54. John Brinsley, Ludus Literarius (1612)
      (pp. 435-447)

      [John Brinsley (1566–1624) was a sizar at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and became a schoolmaster at Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire. A strict puritan, his approach to education was pragmatic and his published work was designed for a very broadly based audience within education. HisConsolation for our Grammar Schooles(1624), a shorter and more general version ofLudus Literarius, advertised itself as being ‘for all those of the inferiour sort, namely, for Ireland, Wales, Virginia, with the Sommer Ilands [Bermuda] that all may speake one and the same language’ (tp.). He also wrote a highly successful grammar,The Posing of Parts...

    • 55. Joseph Webbe, The Familiar Epistles of Cicero (1620)
      (pp. 448-451)

      [Joseph Webbe (c. 1560–c. 1630) was a teacher of Latin and a medic and is known chiefly for his published work on language pedagogy. A Catholic, he grew up speaking Latin (a distinction he shares with Montaigne) and this formative experience determined his approach to the teaching of the language. He visited the English College at Rome in 1600 and 1603 and also obtained a doctorate from the University of Padua. He had difficulty obtaining a licence to practise medicine without having studied at either Oxford or Cambridge, and he made a living from teaching Latin by the method...

    • 56. Joseph Webbe, An Appeal to Truth in the Controversy between Art and Use (1622)
      (pp. 451-458)

      [An Appeal to Truthargues for a colloquial rather than a grammar-based method of teaching Latin, where ‘art’ (grammar) is contrasted with ‘use’. The distinction is repeated in his later workUsus et authoritas(1626) and is also reflected in the colloquial examples set out inPueriles confabulatiunculae, orChildrens Talke(1627). He frequently cites the work of the Flemish scholar Georgius Haloinus Cominius, which should not be confused with the much more influential educational theories of the Moravian John Amos Comenius (1592–1670). It was the work of Comenius that superseded Webbe’s attempts to recreate Latin as a living...

  11. TEXTUAL NOTES
    (pp. 459-506)
    Louise Wilson
  12. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 507-517)
  13. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 518-534)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 535-544)