William Thomas

(968 words)
  • Thomas Olsen (State University of New York, New Paltz)

William Thomas is remembered by historians as clerk of King Edward VI's privy council, a minor diplomat, and an informal, apparently self-appointed political advisor to the young monarch. But he is also significant as the first Englishman to write a history of Italy in English, and the author of the first bilingual English-Italian dictionary and grammar. In addition to being a leading Tudor authority on Italy and the Italian language, Thomas was an accomplished translator and writer. Moreover, in an age in which almost all serious writing was in Latin and the vernacular was widely considered inadequate for nuanced communication, he was one of England's earliest champions of the English language as a suitable medium for creative and …

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Citation:
Olsen, Thomas. "William Thomas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 December 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=6040, accessed 20 November 2014.]