By A. L. Rowse
This e-book is a quintet biography of Elizabethans: Lord Chamberlain Hunsdon, Earl of Oxford, Sir John Harington, Bess of Hardwick, and Father Parsons.
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This was true enough; he became a lecturer at the Sorbonne, returned to England as a seminary priest, spent years in prison at Wisbech, where he was a fomenter of further broils; after his liberation he lived and died in Paris. He was a person of no distinction. Parsons spent some time in London, befriended by Thomas Sackville, then Lord Buckhurst. He had, with his intellectual gifts, a way of recommending himself to the great; but this brief association is of interest, for Sackville was the best of the early Elizabethan poets, author of the 'Induction' to The Mirror for Magistrates and part-author of Gorboduc, the first English blank-verse tragedy.
He contradicted as a calumny of his enemies that he was a Catholic, and declared that 'he neither then was nor ever meant to be any papist'. However, on his way through Louvain he was received into the Church of Rome by an English Jesuit. Arrived at Padua he did not remain long but set out on foot for Rome, where he offered himself to the Society of Jesus in the summer of 1575. He was no longer young; he was thirty, or in his thirtieth yearquite of an age to make up his mind finally. He had found his vocation thus belatedly, and after this never looked back.
8s. ' William, who was to become 1st Earl of Devonshire in James's reign, is a rather misrepresented man. As able a business head as his mother - though she was the creator - he was a person of much wider cultivation. Well read as she was in the book of life, she spent nothing on books. ' William's interests were wider: we fmd him buying Gilbert's classic work on the Magnet, Stow's Chronicles and Carew's Survey of Cornwall; he buys too Guazzo's Dialogues, a book of Memorable Conceits, books and pamphlets in both Latin and Italian.