Ben Jonson

Matthew Steggle (Sheffield Hallam University)
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Ben Jonson was born on 11 June 1572. His father, who died a month before Jonson was born, was a minister: his step-father was a builder. The young Jonson attended Westminster School, a rigorous, classics-minded grammar school, where one of his teachers was the historian William Camden “once my teacher, always my friend”, as Jonson later wrote.

Jonson did not go to university, probably for reasons of money, training instead in his step-father's trade as a bricklayer. However, at some point in the 1590s he chose to try his luck as a soldier in the Low Countries where English troops were involved in the continuing wars between the Dutch and the Spanish. These wars provided young Englishmen with many opportunities for heroism and advancement, balanced however by the risk of a violent

2205 words

Citation: Steggle, Matthew. "Ben Jonson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 January 2001 [, accessed 23 June 2024.]

5168 Ben Jonson 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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