(1554-1628) Born on October 3, 1554, Sir Fulke Greville became friends with Sir Philip Sidney while at school in Shrewsbury. He later studied at Jesus College, Cambridge University, but left without taking a degree. Greville's friendship with Sidney continued at court, where he also aligned himself with Robert Dudley, Sidney's uncle, and Robert Devereux, earl of Essex. In 1597, Queen Elizabeth I knighted Greville, and the following year he was named treasurer of the navy. Though he retired briefly upon the ascension of James
VI/I, Greville returned to court in 1612, earning the offices of privy counselor and chancellor of the exchequer. Named Baron Brooke in 1621, Greville then served in the House of Lords until his death. Ralph Haywood, a dissatisfied servant, murdered Greville on September 30, 1628.
Unlike many other Renaissance authors, Greville did not begin writing early in his life; the majority of sources indicate that he only began composing after Sidney's death. His best-known work is Caelica, a collection of 109 love poems. Although linked with the sonnet sequence tradition, only 41 of the poems are actually sonnets. The majority of his other works reflect political philosophy (e.g., A Treatise of Monarchy, 1609), religious concerns (A Treatise of Religion, 1609), and ethical considerations (A Treatise of Humane Learning, 1633). He also wrote three plays: The Tragedy of Mustapha (ca. 1595), Alaham (ca. 1599), and Antony and Cleopatra (ca. 1601), which Greville destroyed after Essex's execution. He also completed a biography of Sidney entitled The Life of the Renowned Sir Philip Sydney in 1610, though it remained unpublished until 1652. This work is precocious in its combination of authorial biography with critical interpretation of Sidney's poems, as well as its discussions about Sidney's influence on English poetry and on the current political circumstances prevalent in Renaissance England.
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