Edmund Spenser (Life's summary)
The son of a cloth-maker, Spenser was born in London in 1522 and was educated at Merchant Taylor's School and at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, a puritan college. After taking his degree, he tried to make a career in London, and in 1578 obtained a job in the Leicester house-hold, where he met the great men of the time. In 1580 Spenser was appointed secretary to Lord Grey de Wilton, who was the new Lord Deputy of Ireland, and followed him to Dublin. He spent many years in Ireland, occupying various minor official jobs, and in 1588 he went to live in Kilcolman castle. Spenser came back to London with his friend Sir Walter Raleigh in 1590, when the first three books of The Faerie Queene appeared. But as he had not received a royal pension sufficient to maintain himself in London, he was compelled to retire to Ireland. In 1594 he met Elizabeth Boyle and married her. The poet died in 1599 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.