Major writers of the Elizabethan Period

This table lists important writers and their works of the Elizabethan period of English literature. Relevant information is added where ever possible. There are dedicated posts for some of the listed authors/works. Click on the hyperlink to get more information about the author/work. If you feel anything more needed to be added here or something is amiss, do inform me at I will update the relevant information. Thanks for your time, dig into the table!

Name of the Writer Years Roles Major Works
Thomas Sackville 1536-1608 Poet The Myrroure for MagistratesGorboduc (Collaborated with with Thomas Norton)
Thomas Norton 1532-1584 Poet Gorboduc (Collaborated with Thomas Sackville)
George Gascoigne 1525-1577 Poet Steel GlassSupposesJocasta
Edmund Spenser 1552-1599 Poet The Faerie QueeneThe Shepheardes CalendarAmorettiEpithalamionProthalamion

Mother Hubberd’s Tale

The Ruins of the Rime

The Tears of hte Muses


Thomas Wyatt 1503-1542 Poet }Introduced Sonnet into English Literature
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey 1516-1547 Poet
Sir Philip Sydney 1554-1586 Poet ArcadiaAstrophel and StellaAn Apoogie for Poetrie
Samuel Daniel 1562-1619 Poet The Battle of AgincourtEngland’s Heroic EpistlesThe Baron’s WarsPolyolbion
Micheal Drayton 1563-1631 Poet The Harmonie of the Church (1591)Idea, The Shepherd’s Garland (1593)Idea’s Mirror (1594)Peirs Gaveston (1593 or 1594)Matilda (1594)

Endimion and Phoebe: Idea’s Latmus (1595)

The Tragical Legend of Robert, Duke of Normandy (1596)

Mortimeriados (1596)

England’s Heroicall Epistles (1597)

The Barons’ Wars in the Reign of Edward II (1603)

The Owl (1604)

The Man in the Moon (1606)

The Legend of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex (1607)

Poly-Olbion (1612 & 1622)

Idea (1619)

Pastorals: Containing Eclogues (1619)

Odes (1619)

The Battle of Agicourt (Published – 1627)

The Quest of Cynthia (Published – 1627)

Elegies Upon Sundry Occasions (1627)

Nymphidia, the Court of Fairy (1627)

The Shepherd’s Sirena (1627)

Muses’ Elysium (1630)

Moses’ Birth and Miracles (1630)

William Shakespeare 1564-1616 DramatistPoet  
Ben Jonson 1573-1637 Dramatist Every Man in His HumourEvery Man Out of His HumourVolpone or the FoxCynthia’s RevelsThe Alchemist

Bartholomew Fayre

Epicaene or the Silent Women

Sajanus His Fall

Catline His Conspiracy

The Poetaster

Teh Devil as an Ass

The Masque of Beauty

Thomas Middleton 1570-1627 Dramatist  
John Webster 1580-1625 Dramatist The White DevilThe Duchess of MalfiThe Devil’s Law Case
John Ford 1586-1639 Dramatist The Broken Heart’Tis Pity She is a WhoreThe Lover’s MelancholyLove’s Sacrifice
Francis Beaumont 1584-1616 Dramatist A King and No KingThe Night of the Burning Pestle
John Fletcher 1579-1625 Dramatist PhilasterThe Maid’s Tragedy
Philip Massinger 1583-1640 Dramatist A New Way to Pay Old DebtsThe City MadamThe Duke Milaine
Thomas Dekker 1572-1632 Dramatist  
James Shirley 1596-1666 Dramatist  
John Marston 1572-1634 Dramatist  
Thomas Heywood 1575-1650 Dramatist A Woman Killed with KindnessThe English TravellerThe Captives
Sir Philip Sydney 1554-1608 Prose  
Francis Bacon 1561-1626 Prose  
Raleigh 1552-1618 Prose History of the World
Raphael Holinshed ?-1580 Prose Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland
Richard Hakluyt 1552-1616 Prose Discovery of English Nation
Richard Hooker 1554-1600 Prose Ecclesiastical Polity
William Webbe   Prose Discourse of English Poetrie
George Puttenham   Prose Arte of English Poesie



University Wits
John Lyly 1554-1606 DramatistProse Euphues: The Anatomy of WitEphues and His EnglandEndymion
Thomas Kyd 1557-1586 Dramatist The Spanish Tragedy
George Peele 1558-1597 Dramatist The Araygnement of ParisThe Famous Chronicle of King Edward I
Thomas Lodge 1558-1625 DramatistProse The Wounds of Civil WarRosalynde
Robert Greene 1560-1592 DramatistProse Frier Bacon and Frier BungeyOrlando FuriosoPandosto
Christopher Marlow 1564-1593 Dramatist Tamburlaine the GreatEdward IIDoctor FaustusThe jew of MaltaThe Tragedy of Dido, Queene of Carthage
Thomas Nash 1567-1601 Dramatist The Unfortunate Traveller or the Life of Jack Wilton


George Chapman (1559-1634)
Poetry Drama
Comedy Tragedy
The Shadow of Night (1594) The Blind Beggar of Alexandria (1596) Bussy D’Ambois (1607)
Ovid’s Banquet of Sense (1595) An Humorous Day’s Mirth (1597) The Conspiracy and Tragedy of Charles, Duke of Byron (1608)
  All Fools (Printed 1605) The Revenge of Bussy D’Ambois (1613)
  Monsieur D’Olive (1605) The Tragedy of Chabot, Admiral of France (Published 1639)
  The Gentleman Usher (Printed 1606) Caesar and Pompey (1613?)
  May Day (Printed 1611)  
  The Widow’s Tears (Printed 1612)