Sir Francis Beaumont

Definition

Theater

  • (1584 - 1616) English playwright, mainly remembered forhis successful collaboration with John Fletcher, their worksbeing more popular than Shakespeare's in their day. The two bachelorslived together on Bankside and "had one wench in the house betweenthem", according to John Aubrey in Brief Lives.

    Beaumont was the son of Francis Beaumont, a justice of commonpleas in Leicestershire. He left Oxford without a degree and studiedat the Inner Temple before turning to writing. He enjoyed successwith The Woman Hater (1606) but made his name the followingyear with The Knight of the Burning Pestle, a parody of chivalrousromances that also made fun of the play-going citizen and his wife.

    He began to collaborate with Fletcher in about 1606 - 08,being always the dominant partner. Their first success came in 1609with Philaster; or, Love Lies Bleeding, followed a year laterby The Maid's Tragedy and A King and No King in 1611.Together they wrote at least six plays; in a further seven or eightcases the attribution is probable but not certain.

    After marrying an heiress in 1613, Beaumont retired to livein Kent. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

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