Epicoene: Or the Silent Woman
Ben Jonson (1572?1637), actor, playwright, satirist, and lyric poet, studied under William Camden at Westminster, worked as a bricklayer, served in the army, and was imprisoned twice--once for sedition and once for murder. Epicoene: or, The Silent Woman (1609) is considered one of his greatest comedies, upon which, along with Volpone (1607), The Alchemist (1610), and Bartholomew Fair (1614), his reputation rests. At his death, he was regarded as the leading man of letters in England, and was a major influence on the Cavalier poets, including Robert Herrick, Sir John Suckling, Thomas Carew, and Richard Lovelace. Lester A. Beaurline was professor of English at the University of Virginia. He was an editor of Studies in Bibliography, the works of John Suckling, and (with Fredson Bowers) the plays of Ben Jonson.