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Malory, Sir Thomas
d. 1471





English writer who - in prison for rape and robbery - composed the 'Le Morte d'Arthur', codifying the mythic narrative of a Celtic king whose exploits came to symbolize the idealized values of chivalry to which medieval society aspired.

The legends of King Arthur, were first begun in 1147 as a Chronicle by Geoffrey of Monmouth in Latin. Malory's version and translation was printed in 1485.

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Marlowe, Christopher

1564-93



English dramatist and poet, born in Canterbury. Marlowe was the first great poet of the theatre's second great age.

He lived mostly in London where he joined a theatrical company.
He wrote four great plays 'Tamburlaine', 'Doctor Faustus', 'The Jew of Malta' and 'Edward II.

Marlowe's life was short and violent: he was killed in a fight in taverne.

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More, Sir Thomas

1478-1535



English writer and statesman, born in London. He studied at Oxford where he befriended Erasmus of Rotterdam. After he returned to London he became a member of Parliament, and was made Lord Chancellor in 1529. He became famous as a literary figure through his work 'Utopia', describing the ideal state.

After he refused to acknowledge the king, Henry VIII, rather than the Pope, as head of the church Sir Thomas More was imprisoned and executed.

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Rabelais, Francois

1495 ? -1553 ?



Influential French writer, born at Chinon. He became a monk, studied and lectured on medicine and anatomy, and became a physician in the hospital at Lyon.

Rabelais is the author of a comic and satirical masterpiece, 'Gargantua and Pantagruel' in which he sought to liberate the late Middle Ages from the superstitions that confined man.

His works are among the most hilarious classics of world literature.

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Sachs, Hans

1494-1576



Poet and song composer, born in Nuremberg, Germany. The son of a tailor, he became a cobbler and travelled through Germany practising his craft and frequenting the schools of the Meistersinger ('mastersingers').

Hans Sachs wrote 4,000 songs, many poems and verse dramas. Some were religious and celebrating the Reformation, others are dealing with common life in a cheerful and humorous style. Sachs is idealized in Wagner's opera 'Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg' composed in 1868.

Forgotten after his death, Sachs was rediscovered two centuries later by Goethe.

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