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A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Peele, George

< A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature

Peele, George (1558?-1597?).—Dramatist and poet, s. of a salter in London, ed. at Christ's Hospital and Oxf., where he had a reputation as a poet. Coming back to London about 1581 he led a dissipated life. He appears to have been a player as well as a playwright, and to have come into possession of some land through his wife. His works are numerous and consist of plays, pageants, and miscellaneous verse. His best plays are The Arraignment of Paris (1584), and The Battle of Alcazar (1594), and among his poems Polyhymnia (1590), and The Honour of the Garter (1593). Other works are Old Wives' Tale (1595), and David and Fair Bethsabe (1599). P. wrote in melodious and flowing blank verse, with abundance of fancy and brilliant imagery, but his dramas are weak in construction, and he is often bombastic and extravagant.