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Ascham, Roger


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


Roger Ascham (1514/15–1568), Tudor humanist and courtier, was the author of three main literary works in English: Toxophilus (1545), a dialogue promoting the sport of archery; A report and discourse written by Roger Ascham, of the affaires and state of Germany and the Emperour Charles his court, duryng certaine yeares while the sayd Roger was there (written in 1552 and published posthumously in 1570), a commentary on the current state of European politics; and his most popular text, The scholemaster (also published posthumously in 1570), which sets out Ascham's plans for a reformed grammar school practice and which is best known today for its vociferous objection to travel to Italy and its extended opposition to the process of Italianization. Ascham was born at Kirby Wiske, near Northallerton, to a family of Yorkshire yeomen; his younger brother Anthony (c.1517–59) became a noted astronomical writer and almanac-maker. Ascham progressed from the local school to the household of the lawyer Humphrey Wingfield in Suffolk. In 1530 he went on to matriculate at St John's College, Cambridge, gaining his BA in 1534 and his MA in 1537, and serving as a college fellow and tutor. Various university and court appointments followed, including public orator and Greek reader at Cambridge University, and tutor to Princess Elizabeth (the future Elizabeth I); during this period his Toxophilus ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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