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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume III. Renascence and Reformation.

XVI. Elizabethan Prose Fiction

§ 3. John Lyly

The great outstanding figure in this line is that of John Lyly, a native of Kent, and, in his day, a noted son of Oxford. His career was one of strenuous effort, ill-requited because ill-directed. His nice, fastidious temperament, which marked him off from the roaring section of university wits, seems to have rendered him ineffective in actual life. At Oxford, he missed recognition; his ambition to succeed to the Mastership of the Revels was quietly ignored; while his closing years, passed in penury and neglect, form a saddening sequel to the efforts of one, who, in his time, had adorned the stage, had beautified the conversation of exquisites “of learned tendency” and had been the fruitful occasion of much wit in others.