Jacobean Age (in English literature)
Jacobean Age (in English literature): An age spanning the reign of James I (1603—25) that is often classified as the third of five literary eras within the Renaissance Period in English literature. The Jacobean Age, which was nearly cut short by the failed Gunpowder Plot to blow up the king and the parliament in 1605, derives its names from Jacobus (Latin for “James”). Many of the most significant Jacobean authors, including playwrights Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare, metaphysical poet John Donne, poet Michael Drayton, and philosopher and essayist Francis Bacon, began writing during the preceding Elizabethan Age. Noted writers who began their careers during the Jacobean Age include George Herbert, another of the metaphysical poets; playwrights Sir Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, who are generally credited with developing the hybrid genre of tragicomedy; and two other dramatists, Thomas Middleton and John Webster. Major prose works of the Jacobean Age include the King James translation of the Bible (1611), Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), and Donne’s sermons (published posthumously in various collections including Six Sermons ). The king himself also produced several works, including one of the first invectives against tobacco, A Counterblaste to Tobacco (1604).