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John Heywood

(c. 1497—1580) playwright and epigrammatist

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married Elizabeth Rastell, niece of Sir T. More. Under Henry VIII he was a singer and player on the virginals. He was much favoured by Queen Mary. He published interludes, substituting the human comedy of contemporary types for the allegory and instructive purpose of the morality; but he did this in the form of narrative and debate rather than of plot and action. His principal works were The Foure PP (?1544); The Play of the Wether (1533); and A Play of Love (1534). He may also have been the author of The Pardoner and the Frere and Johan Johan the Husbande, Tyb his Wyfe & Syr Jhbar an the Preest, comedies of a wider scope. Heywood also wrote a dialogue called Witty and Witless, collections of proverbs and epigrams, and a long satirical poem, The Spider and the Flie (1556).

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