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Thomas Lodge

Lodge, Thomas, 1558?–1625, English writer, grad. Oxford, 1577. After abandoning the study of law for literature, he published (c.1580) his defense of poetry and other arts, usually called Honest Excuses, in reply to the attacks made by Stephen Gosson in The School of Abuse. Lodge wrote in nearly every form of literature. His pamphlets include Alarm against Usurers (1584) and Wits Misery and World's Madness (1596). He wrote several euphuistic romances, the best of which are Scillaes Metamorphosis (1589), a source of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis; Rosalynde (1590), Shakespeare's source for As You Like It; and A Margarite of America (1596). Phillis (1593), a collection of amorous sonnets, is his chief volume of verse. He also wrote plays and a book of verse satires, A Fig for Momus (1595). Lodge pursued several careers in addition to his literary efforts. He sailed on a few expeditions, the most notable being the Thomas Cavendish expedition to South America in 1591. He received a medical degree from Avignon in 1598 and another from Oxford in 1603. He wrote very little original work during his later life, devoting himself primarily to translating and to the practice of medicine.

See his complete works ed. by E. W. Gosse (1883, repr. 1966); biography by P. M. Ryan, Jr. (1958); studies by C. J. Sisson (1933, repr. 1966) and E. A. Tenney (1935, repr. 1969).

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

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