Ben Jonson Life and Background

  • Michael Stout
Part of the Macmillan Master Guides book series (MMG)


Ben Jonson was born in 1572, a month after the death of his clergyman father. His mother subsequently married a master bricklayer. Jonson was a pupil at Westminster School where he received an education in the classics under William Camden and developed a passion for scholarship which lasted all his life. He later acknowledged his debt to his old headmaster in an epigram addressed to him, which stated:

Camden, most reverend head, to whom I owe

All that I am in arts, all that I know.


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© Michael Stout 1988

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  • Michael Stout

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