Turberville - Encyclopedia




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TURBERVILLE (or [[Turbervile), George]] (1540?-1610?), English poet, second son of Nicholas Turberville of Whitchurch, Dorset, belonged to an old Dorsetshire family, the D'Urbervilles of Mr Thomas Hardy's novel, Tess. He became a scholar of Winchester College in 1554, and in 1561 was made a fellow of New College, Oxford. In 1562 he began to study law in London, and gained a reputation, according to Anthony a Wood, as a poet and man of affairs. He accompanied Thomas Randolph in a special mission to Moscow to the court of Ivan the Terrible in 1568. Of his Poems describing the Places and Manners of the Country and People of Russia (1568) mentioned by Wood, only three metrical letters describing his adventures survive, and these were reprinted in Hakluyt's Voyages (1589). His Epitaphs, Epigrams, Songs and Sonets appeared "newly corrected with additions" in 1567. In the same year he published translations of the Heroycall Epistles of Ovid, and of the Eglogs of Mantuan (Gianbattista Spagnuoli, called Mantuanus), and in 1568 A Plaine Path to Perfect Vertue from Dominicus Mancinus. The Book of Falconry or Hawking and the Noble Art of Venerie (printed together in 1575) may both be assigned to Turberville. The title page of his Tragical Tales (1587), which are translations from Boccaccio and Bandello, says that the book was written at the time of the author's troubles. What these were is unknown, but Wood says he was living and in high esteem in 1594. He probably died before 1611. He is a disciple of Wyat and Surrey, whose matter he sometimes appropriated. Much of his verse is sing-song enough, but he disarms criticism by his humble estimate of his own powers.

His Epitaphs &c. were reprinted in Alexander Chalmers's English Poets (1810), and by J. P. Collier in 1867.

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