16th century in literature

"See also:" 15th century in literature, other events of the 16th century, 17th century in literature, list of years in literature.


1539:*Marie Dentière writes an open letter to Marguerite of Navarre, sister of the King of France; the "Epistre tres utile", or "very useful letter", calls for an expulsion of Catholic clergy from France.
1565:*Torquato Tasso enters the service of Cardinal Luigi d'Este at Ferrara.
1567:*October 14 - António Ferreira becomes "Desembargador da Casa do Civel" and leaves Coimbra for Lisbon.
1571:*Michel de Montaigne retires from public life and isolates himself in the tower of the Château de Montaigne.
1572:*English law eliminates actors' companies lacking formal patronage, by labelling them "vagabonds".
1575:*Sir Philip Sidney meets Penelope Devereaux, the inspiration for his "Astrophel and Stella".
1576:*James Burbage builds The Theatre, the first permanent public playhouse in London, to open the great age of Elizabethan drama.
1590:*A troupe of boy actors, the Children of Paul's, are suppressed because of their playwright John Lyly's role in the Marprelate controversy.
1597:*Ben Jonson is briefly jailed in Marshalsea Prison, after the suppression of his play, "The Isle of Dogs".
1598:*September 22 - Ben Jonson kills actor Gabriel Spenser in a duel; he is convicted of manslaughter and imprisoned in Newgate Prison.

New books

1501:*"The Book of Margery Kempe" (posthumous)
1503:*William Dunbar - "The Thrissill and the Rois"
1505:*Georges Chastellain - "Récollections des merveilles advenues en mon temps" (posthumous):*Stephen Hawes
**"The Passtyme of Pleasure"
**"The Temple of Glass"
1508:*William Dunbar - "The Goldyn Targe"
1509:*Erasmus - "In Praise of Folly"
1512:*Henry Medwall - "Fulgens and Lucrece" :*Huldrych Zwingli - "De Gestis inter Gallos et Helvetios relatio"
1513:*First translation of Virgil's "Aeneid" into English language (Scots dialect) by Gavin Douglas
1514-15:*Gian Giorgio Trissino - "Sofonisba"
1515:*Robert Fabyan - "The New Chronicles of England and France"
1516:*Thomas More - "Utopia"
1517:*Francysk Skaryna's Bible translation and printing:*Teofilo Folengo's "Baldo", a popular Italian work of comedy.
1524:*Philippe de Commines - "Mémoires (Part 1: Books 1-6)"; first publication (Paris)
1526:*William Tyndale's New Testament translation
1527:*Hector Boece - "Historia Scotorum" :*Philippe de Commines - "Mémoires (Part 2: Books 7-8)"; first publication
1528:*Baltissare Castiglione - "The Book of the Courtier"
1531:*Michael Servetus - "De trinitatis erroribus ("On the Errors of the Trinity")"
1532:*Niccolò Machiavelli - "The Prince":*François Rabelais - "Pantagruel"
1534:*Martin Luther's Bible translation:*François Rabelais - "Gargantua":*Polydore Vergil - "Historia Anglica"
1535:*John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners - "Huon of Bordeaux"
1536:*Jean Calvin - "Institutes of the Christian Religion" (in Latin)
1538:*Hélisenne de Crenne - "Les Angoisses douloureuses qui procèdent d'amours"
1539:*Sir Thomas Elyot - "The Castel of Helth"
1540:*"Historia Scotorum" of Hector Boece, translated into vernacular Scots by John Bellenden at the special request of James V of Scotland
1541:*George Buchanan
1542:*Paul Fagius - "Liber Fidei seu Veritatis":*Edward Hall - "The Union of the Two Noble and Illustrate Famelies of Lancastre & Yorke"
1543:*Andreas Vesalius - "De humani corporis fabrica libri septem" "(On the Fabric of the Human body in Seven Books)" :*Nicolaus Copernicus - "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium" "(On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres)"
1545:*Roger Ascham - "Toxophilus" :*Bernard Etxepare - "Linguae Vasconum Primitiae"
1546:*François Rabelais - "Le tiers livre"
1547:*Martynas Mažvydas - "The Simple Words of Catechism" (first printed book in Lithuanian language)
1549:*Johannes Aal - "Johannes der Täufer (St. John Baptist)"
1550:*Martin Bucer - "De regno Christi"
1552:*François Rabelais - "Le quart livre":*Gerónimo de Santa Fe - "Hebræomastix" (posthumous):*"Libellus de Medicinalibus Indorum Herbis (Little Book of the Medicinal Herbs of the Indians)", composed in Nahuatl by Martín de la Cruz and translated into Latin by Juan Badiano.
1553:*Francesco Patrizi - "La Città felice" ("The Happy City")
1554:*anon - Lazarillo de Tormes
1559:*The Elizabethan version of the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, which remained in use until the mid-17th century and was the first English Prayer Book in America.:*Jorge de Montemayor - "Diana"
1560:*Jacques Grévin - "Jules César":*William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson - "Geneva Bible"
1562:*William Bullein - "Bullein's Bulwarke of Defence againste all Sicknes, Sornes, and Woundes"
1563:*John Foxe - "Foxe's Book of Martyrs"
1564:*John Dee - "Monas Hieroglyphica"
1565:*Camillo Porzio - "La Congiura dei baroni"
1567:*Joan Perez de Lazarraga - "Silbero, Silbia, Doristeo, and Sirena" (MS in Basque language)
1569:*Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga - "La Araucana", part 1
1571:*François de Belleforest - "La Pyrénée" (or "La Pastorale amoureuse") (the first French "pastoral novel")
1572:*Friedrich Risner - "Opticae thesaurus"
1576:*Jean Boudin - "Six livres de la République" :*George Pettie - "A Petite Palace of Pettie His Pleasure" :*"The Paradise of Dainty Devices", the most popular of the Elizabethan verse miscellanies
1577:*Richard Eden - "The History of Travayle in the West and East Indies" :*Thomas Hill - "The Gardener's Labyrinth":*Raphael Holinshed - "The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Irelande"
1578:*George Best - "A True Discourse of the Late Voyages of Discoverie…under the Conduct of Martin Frobisher" :*John Florio - "First Fruits" :*Jaroš Griemiller - "Rosarium philosophorum":*Gabriel Harvey - "Smithus, vel Musarum lachrymae" :*John Lyly - "Euphues: the Anatomy of Wit"
1579:*Stephen Gosson - "The Schoole of Abuse":*Thomas Lodge - "Honest Excuses"
1582:*George Buchanan - "Rerum Scoticarum Historia" :*Richard Hakluyt - Divers Voyages"
1583:*Philip Stubbes - "The Anatomy of Abuses"
1584:*Reginald Scot - "The Discovery of Witchcraft"
1585:*Miguel de Cervantes - "La Galatea"
1586:*John Knox - "Historie of the Reformatioun of Religioun within the Realms of Scotland" :*John Lyly - "Pappe with an hatchet, alias a figge for my Godsonne" :*George Puttenham (attr.) - "The Arte of English Poesie" :*Luis Barahona de Soto - "Primera parte de la Angélica"
1588:*Thomas Hariot - "A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia" :*Thomas Nashe - "The Anatomie of Absurditie"
1590:*Thomas Lodge - "Rosalynde" :*Thomas Nashe - "An Almond for a Parrat"
1592:*Robert Greene - "Greene's Groatsworth of Wit" :*Gabriel Harvey - "Foure Letters and certaine Sonnets" :*Richard Johnson - "Nine Worthies of London"
1594:*Sir John Davys - "The Seamans Secrets":*Richard Hooker - "Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie"
1595:*Sir Philip Sidney (posthumous) - "Defense of Poesy", a.k.a. "An Apologie for Poetrie"
1596:*Sir Walter Raleigh - "The Discoverie of the Large, Rich and Beautiful Empyre of Guiana"
1598:*John Bodenham - "Politeuphuia (Wits' Commonwealth)":*King James VI of Scotland - "The Trew Law of Free Monarchies" :*Francis Meres - "Palladis Tamia, Wits Treasury" :*John Stow - "Survey of London"
1599:*John Bodenham - "Wits' Theater"

New drama

1536:*Hans Ackermann - "Der Verlorene Sohn"
1541:*Giovanni Battista Giraldi - "Orbecche"

1551:*Marin Držić - "Dundo Maroje"

1553:*(about 1553) – "Gammer Gurton's Needle" and "Ralph Roister Doister", the first comedies written in the English language:*António Ferreira - "Bristo"

1562:*Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville - "Gorboduc" :*"Jack Juggler" - anonymous, sometimes attributed to Nicholas Udall

1566:*George Gascoigne - "Supposes"

1567:*John Pickering - "Horestes"

1568:*Ulpian Fulwell - "Like Will to Like"

1573:*Torquato Tasso - "Aminta"

1582:*Giovanni Battista Guarini - "Il pastor fido"

1584:*John Lyly:**"Campaspe" :**"Sapho and Phao" :*George Peele - "The Arraignment of Paris" :*Robert Wilson - "The Three Ladies of London" (published)

1588:*George Peele - "The Battle of Alcazar" (performed)

1589:*"The Rare Triumphs of Love and Fortune" - anonymous (published)

1590:*Christopher Marlowe - "Tamburlaine" (both parts published):*George Peele - "Famous Chronicle of King Edward the First" :*Robert Wilson - "The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London" (published)

1591:*John Lyly - "Endymion" (published):*"The Troublesome Reign of King John" - Anonymous (published)

1592:*Thomas Kyd - "The Spanish Tragedy" (published):*William Shakespeare - "Henry VI, Part 1", "Part 2", "Part 3" :*"Arden of Faversham" - anonymous (previously attributed to Shakespeare)

1594:*Samuel Daniel - "Cleopatra" :*Robert Greene:**"Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay" (published):**"Orlando Furioso" (published):*Thomas Lodge & Robert Greene - "A Looking Glass for London" (published):*Lope de Vega - "El maestro de danzar" - ("The Dancing Master") :*George Peele - "The Battle of Alcazar" (published):*William Shakespeare - "Romeo and Juliet" :*Robert Wilson - "The Cobbler's Prophecy" (published)

1595:*"Locrine" - Anonymous (published)

1597:*"The Isle of Dogs" - Thomas Nashe & Ben Jonson:*"Richard II" - William Shakespeare (published)

1598:*Robert Greene - "The Scottish Historie of James the Fourth" (published):*Ben Jonson - "Every Man in His Humour"

1599:*Thomas Dekker - "The Shoemaker's Holiday" :*Thomas Dekker, Henry Chettle, and William Haughton - "Patient Grissel" :*Ben Jonson - "Every Man Out of His Humour" :*William Shakespeare - "Henry V"

New poetry

1514 :*"The Aeneid" -Francesco Maria Molzo's translation into Italian, in consecutive unrhymed verse (forerunner of Blank verse)

1550:*Sir Thomas Wyatt - "Pentential Psalms"

1557:*Giovanni Battista Giraldi - "Ercole":*"Tottel's Miscellany"

1562:*"The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet" - Arthur Brooke

1563:*Barnaby Googe - "Eclogues, Epitaphs, and Sonnets"

1567:*George Turberville - "Epitaphs, Epigrams, Songs and Sonnets"

1573:*George Gascoigne - "A Hundred Sundry Flowers"

1575:*Nicholas Breton - "A Small Handful of Fragrant Flowers":*George Gascoigne - "The Posies"

1576:*"The Paradise of Dainty Devices", the most popular of the Elizabethan verse miscellanies

1577:*Nicholas Breton - "The Works of a Young Wit" and "A Flourish upon Fancy"

1579:*Edmund Spenser - "The Shepherd's Calendar"

1582:*Thomas Watson - "Hekatompathia or Passionate Century of Love"

1590:*Sir Philip Sidney - "Arcadia" :*Edmund Spenser - "The Faerie Queene", Books 1-3

1591:*Sir Philip Sidney - "Astrophel and Stella" (published posthumously)

1592:*Henry Constable - "Diana" :*Michael Drayton - "The Shepherd's Garland"

1593:*Michael Drayton - "Peirs Gaveston" :*Giles Fletcher, the Elder - "Licia"

1595:*Thomas Campion - *"Poemata"

1596:*Sir John Davies - "Orchestra, or a Poeme of Dauncing" :*Michael Drayton - "The Civell Warres of Edward the Second and the Barrons" :*Edmund Spenser - "The Faerie Queene", Books 1-6

1597:*Michael Drayton - "Englands Heroicall Epistles"

1598:*Lope de Vega::*"La Arcadia"::*"La Dragontea"

1599:*Sir John Davies::*"Hymnes of Astraea"::*"Nosce Teipsum":*George Peele - "The Love of King David and Faire Bethsabe"


* 1503 - Thomas Wyatt
* 1510 - Martynas Mažvydas
* 1511 - Johannes Secundus (d. 1535)
* 1515 - Roger Ascham
* 1517 - Henry Howard
* 1524 - Luís de Camões (d. 1580)
* 1547 - Miguel de Cervantes (d. 1616)
* 1551 - William Camden
* 1554 - Philip Sidney
* 1555 - Lancelot Andrewes
* 1558 - Robert Greene
* 1558 - Thomas Kyd
* 1561 - Luís de Góngora y Argote, Spanish poet (d. 1627)
* 1562 - Lope de Vega, Spanish poet and dramatist (d. 1635)
* 1564 - Henry Chettle, English dramatist (d. 1607)
* 1564 - Christopher Marlowe, English poet and dramatist (d. 1593)
* 1564 - William Shakespeare, English poet and dramatist (d. 1616)
* 1570 - Robert Aytoun
* 1572 - Ben Jonson
* 1576 - John Marston
* 1577 - Robert Burton
* 1581 - Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft
* 1583 - Philip Massinger
* 1587 - Joost van den Vondel
* 1594 - James Howell


* 1502 - Henry Medwall
* 1513 - Robert Fabyan
* 1535 - Johannes Secundus (b. 1511)
* 1552 - Alexander Barclay
* 1553 - Hanibal Lucić, Croatian poet and playwright (born c. 1485)
* 1553 - Francois Rabelais
* 1563 - John Bale
* 1563 - Martynas Mažvydas
* 1566 - Marco Girolamo Vida, Italian poet (b. 1485?)
* 1568 - Roger Ascham
* 1577 - George Gascoigne
* 1592 - Robert Greene
* 1593 - Christopher Marlowe
* 1594 - Thomas Kyd
* 1595 - Luis Barahona de Soto

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