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Davina Morgan-Witts, BookBrowse editor

Each year, as the holiday season comes around and the news stories start to dry up, we look back into history for a snapshot of the news in centuries past. This year, we start in 1608 ....

While the early settlers at Jamestown struggled for survival, London was a hive of dramatic endeavor:

Ben Jonson's The Masque of Beauty and The Hue and Cry After Cupid were both published and performed for the first time. Thomas Heywood published The Rape of Lucrece; Thomas Middleton published The Family of Love, A Mad World, My Masters and A Trick to Catch the Old One; and William Shakespeare published King Lear - to name but a few.

Elizabethan dramatist and pamphleteer, Thomas Dekker, was also in fine voice, publishing two tracts: The Dead Term and The Bellman of London; and considering that he claimed credit for 240 plays during his 60-year lifetime, it seems likely that he turned out a few plays as well.

Although not notable until many years after his birth, prose writer and poet John Milton, best known for Paradise Lost, was born at the close of the year in December 1608.

Previous year's of "This Year in History" can be found in BookBrowse's News section, e.g. 1907.

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