Born: 1563, Hartshill (GB)
Died: 23-12-1631, London (GB)
Michael Drayton was born in Hartshill in the year 1563. His exact date of birth is unknown, just like the early years of his life. Around the year 1580, Drayton was in the service of Thomas Goodere of Collingham (Nottinghamshire, GB). There are indications, that he studied at the University of Oxford. More is known about the period after 1590, when he published his first book.
The harmony of the church (1590) was a collection of poems inspired by his religious beliefs. Unfortunately, the forty copies of this collection were all seized by the Archbishop of Cantebury and were destroyed by hos order. This did not stop Drayton from writing. Four years later, he published The Sheperd’s Garland. The final version was released under the title Idea’s mirror. He used the pseudonym Rowland to publish his work. In this book, he wrote about his love-life. Drayton never married and died a bachelor.
Let’s not forget another masterpiece written by Drayton: The Legend of Piers Gaveston. This was the first of his series of historical poems. He also wrote about Rober Curthose (1051 – 1134). He was the duke of Normandy from 1087 to 1106.
Drayton was the first poet, to introduce the ode – a lyrical poem – in English literature. He would grow out to be a loved and respected poet. The fact that he was favoured by queen Elizabeth I of England, helped his career to move forward. But, one can fall at any time. The poem about James I was ridiculed and mocked. The years moved forward and he published some beautiful poetry. He also published some satirical poems. The last of his publications was The muses’ elizium in 1630. One year later, he died.
Michael Drayton was buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.