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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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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References in periodicals archive ?
Loughlin, "Cross-Dressing and the Politics of Dismemberment in Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher's Philaster," Renaissance and Reformation 21, no.
And whereas Q2 and Q3 both proudly attributed the play to "Francis Beaumont, and Iohn Fletcher, Gent,"(32) Humphrey Moseley published the Beaumont and Fletcher First Folio without even mentioning its existence, although he simultaneously explained in great detail why plays like Fletcher's Wild Goose Chase (1621) were not included.(33)
(36) Mark Eccles, 'Francis Beaumont's Grammar Lecture', The Review of English Studies 16.64 (Oct.
This is not to say that Fletcher's early admission to college would have been impossible: Francis Beaumont, for example, matriculated from Broadgates Hall (now Pembroke), Oxford, with his brothers at the age of twelve.
Francis Beaumont does not appear to have been preyed upon by city usurers.
Since its first performance at the Blackfriars some time between 1607 and 1609, (1) Francis Beaumont's The Knight of the Burning Pestle has undergone the most radical rehabilitation of any play in the remarkably voluminous Beaumont and Fletcher canon.
A leading English comic dramatist of his day and an important theater manager who sought to revive the vigor of Elizabethan drama with adaptations of plays by Ben Jonson and the team of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher.
(c1607) A comedy by Francis Beaumont. (See Beaumont and Fletcher.
What can we learn about Francis Beaumont's seventeenth-century reception from the evidence left by early readers?
For early modern writers, the intimate could be fleeting and nonpenetrative (as in the unconsummated desire in Christopher Marlowe's Hero and Leander); nonreproductive (as in the anal pleasures of William Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well); surface-level (as in the sadomasochistic skin markings that create pleasure in Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy); and experienced not between two individuals but among a group (as in the erotic exchanges of the cloistered nuns imagined in the anonymous The Merry Devil of Edmonton).
If Heywood's drama is one of failed "authorship," Humphrey Moseley's effort to honor dramatic collaboration in his edition of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher's plays not only came too late -- five years after the theaters were closed -- but was, according to Brooks, a drama of inauthentic authorship.
Field also wrote two comedies, A Woman Is a Weathercock (1612) and Amends for Ladies (1618), and he collaborated with Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher and with Philip Massinger on other plays.