Francis Beaumont

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Beaumont, Francis

Beaumont, Francis (bōˈmŏnt), 1584?–1616, English dramatist. Born of a distinguished family, he studied at Oxford and the Inner Temple. His literary reputation is linked with that of John Fletcher, with whom he began collaborating about 1606. Their plays are noted for plot symmetry, refined taste, and provocative sexual situations. The plays usually ascribed to him as sole author are The Woman Hater (published 1607), the burlesque Knight of the Burning Pestle (c.1607), Philaster (c.1609), and The Maid's Tragedy (c.1610). After his marriage in 1613 he retired to his estate in Kent and ceased writing for the stage.


See biography by L. Bliss (1987); studies by G. C. Campbell (1972) and M. Baldwin (1974).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Beaumont, Francis


Born circa 1584, in Grace Dieu; died Mar. 6, 1616, in London. British playwright.

The son of a gentry judge, Beaumont studied in law school. The majority of his plays were written in collaboration with J. Fletcher. Their creative work bears the imprint of the spiritual crisis experienced by humanists when they became convinced that their ideals could not be realized. In their comedy The Knight of the Burning Pestle (c. 1607, Russian translation 1959), certain characters and situations of the English theater of that time are ridiculed. Beaumont is the author of the comedy The Woman Hater (1607), and the play The Masque of the Gentlemen of Gray’s Inn and the Inner Temple (1613), dedicated to F. Bacon. The dramas of 1619–21, A King and No King, The Maid’s Tragedy, and Thierry and Theodoret, were written in the spirit of the “bloody tragedy” prevalent at that time. The play Philaster (1620) was written in the tragicomic genre.


Works, vol. 1–10. Cambridge, 1905–12.
In Russian translation:
“Filastr.” In the collection Sovremenniki Shekspira, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, issue 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945.
Appleton, W. W. Beaumont and Fletcher: A Critical Study. London [1956].
Fletcher, J. Beaumont and Fletcher. [London, 1967.] (Contains a bibliography. Pages 50–60.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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