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Samuel Daniel

Daniel, Samuel, 1562?–1619, English poet and historian. He was tutor to William Herbert, 3d earl of Pembroke, and later to Lady Anne Clifford. Eventually he found favor with James I, and in 1603 he was appointed inspector of the Children of the Queen's Revels (a company of boy actors), a position he held for the rest of his life. Daniel is known chiefly for Delia (1592), a collection of sonnets. His other poetry includes a narrative, The Complaint of Rosamund (1592), and a defense of learning, Musophilus (1599). Besides being the author of numerous court masques, he wrote two Senecan tragedies, Cleopatra (1594) and Philotas (1605). His ardent patriotism and his belief in a strong and absolute monarchy inspired his epic, The Civil Wars between the Two Houses of Lancaster and York (1595, enl. ed. 1609). Defence of Rhyme (1603?) and a History of England (1631) are his major prose works. He was much admired by the 19th-century English romantics for his purity of diction.

See study by C. Seronsy (1967).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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