George Ferrers: Mirror for Magistrates

(1403 words)

In Lyncolnes Inne and Temples twayne,
Grayes Inne and other mo [. . .]
There heare thou shalt a great reporte,
Of Baldwyns worthie name,
Whose Myrrour dothe of Magistrates,
Proclayme eternall fame.
-- Jasper Heywood, “Preface” to Seneca's Thyestes (1560)

The Mirror for Magistrates, a collaboratively-authored, partly-anonymous book of poetic complaints spoken by the ghosts of infamous Englishmen and women, was one of the most popular printed histories in Elizabethan England.

Published in 1559 and designed to be a continuation of John Lydgate's Fall of Princes, a translation of Boccaccio's De casibus illustrium virorum

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Sturgeon, Elizabeth M.. "Mirror for Magistrates". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 September 2007
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]