John Davies of Hereford
(c. 1565 – July 1618) was a writing-master and an Anglo-Welsh
Anglo-Welsh literature and Welsh writing in English are terms used to describe works written in the English language by Welsh writers. It has been recognised as a distinctive entity only since the 20th century...
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...
. He is usually known as John Davies of Hereford
(after the city where he was born) in order to distinguish him from others of the same name.
Hereford is a cathedral city, civil parish and county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately east of the border with Wales, southwest of Worcester, and northwest of Gloucester...
was at that time a Welsh-speaking
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...
area, even though officially in England. Davies wrote very copiously on theological and philosophical themes. He also wrote many epigrams on his contemporaries which have some historical interest. John Davies died in London.
- Mirum in Modum, a Glimpse of God's Glory and the Soul's Shape (1602)
- Microcosmos (1603)
- Wittes Pilgrimage (1605?)
- Humours Heav's on Earth (1605)
- The Scourge of Folly (1611)
- The Picture of a Happy Man (1612)
- Wit's Bedlam (1617)
A Lover's Complaint
In a 2007 monograph, Shakespeare, "A Lover's Complaint," and John Davies of Hereford
, Brian Vickers attributes to Davies the poem "A Lover's Complaint
A Lover's Complaint is a narrative poem published as an appendix to the original edition of Shakespeare's sonnets. It is given the title 'A Lover's Complaint' in the book, which was published by Thomas Thorpe in 1609...
", which was published by Thomas Thorpe
Thomas Thorpe was an English publisher, most famous for publishing Shakespeare's sonnets and several works by Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson. His publication of the sonnets has long been controversial...
with Shakespeare's Sonnets
Shakespeare's sonnets are 154 poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare, dealing with themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty and mortality. All but two of the poems were first published in a 1609 quarto entitled SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS.: Never before imprinted. Sonnets 138 and 144...
in 1609. This attribution goes against scholarly consensus, and in particular studies by Kenneth Muir
Kenneth Arthur Muir was a twentieth-century literary scholar and author, prominent in the fields of Shakespeare studies and English Renaissance theatre...
, Eliot Slater and MacDonald P. Jackson, but is based on both a detailed demonstration of the non-Shakespearean nature of the poem and a list of numerous verbal parallels—such as 'What brest so cold that is not warmed heare' and 'What heart's so cold that is not set on fire'—between the Complaint
and the known works of Davies. On Vickers's attribution it was omitted from the 2007 RSC
The Royal Shakespeare Company is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs 700 staff and produces around 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford-upon-Avon and plays regularly in London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and on tour across...
Shakespeare Complete Works
, a decision Jackson called a mistake in his RES
review of Vickers's book, arguing, among other reservations, that "Evidence that, in poems undoubtedly his, Davies exhibits an intimacy with Shakespeare's works equal to that of the author of 'A Lover's Complaint' is very meagre."