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Old 05-17-2009, 11:37 AM   #1
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Jonson, Ben: Discoveries and Some Poems. V1. 17 May 2009

Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637) was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems. A man of vast reading and a seemingly insatiable appetite for controversy, Jonson had an unparalleled breadth of influence on Jacobean and Caroline playwrights and poets.

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Ben Jonson’s “Discoveries” are, as he says in the few Latin words prefixed to them, “A wood - Sylva - of things and thoughts, in Greek “υλη” [which has for its first meaning material, but is also applied peculiarly to kinds of wood, and to a wood], “from the multiplicity and variety of the material contained in it. For, as we are commonly used to call the infinite mixed multitude of growing trees a wood, so the ancients gave the name of Sylvæ - Timber Trees - to books of theirs in which small works of various and diverse matter were promiscuously brought together.”
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