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Coryate, Thomas


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


Thomas Coryate (?1577–1617), a traveller, writer, and aspirant in the courts of Henry, prince of Wales and James I, is best known for a lengthy first-person travel narrative, Coryats crudities (1611) and several shorter pieces printed posthumously. Until comparatively recently, Coryate and his works, like those of other contemporary travel writers, though well known, were regarded as novelties rather than as literature worthy of study. However, as the definition of literature has expanded and especially since scholars have become interested in travel writing and cross-cultural relations during the Renaissance, Coryate and his works have attracted greater attention. Born in Odcombe, Somerset, Coryate attended Winchester College, and then Gloucester Hall (now Exeter College), Oxford, where he studied for about three years. Though he did not complete a degree, his education and aptitude for learning languages provided him with a thorough knowledge of classical literature, history, and rhetoric. In 1608, Coryate undertook an extensive tour of Continental Europe and kept a detailed journal. Upon returning, he had the journal and commendatory verses printed as Coryats crudities . Inspired by the success of this journey, Coryate began a second by sailing to Istanbul. He travelled through the Middle East and walked to India where he died of dysentery in 1617. Several of his works were ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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