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F. P. Wilson (Frank Percy Wilson) Biography

(1889–1963), (Frank Percy Wilson), Plague Pamphlets, Foure Birds from Noahs Arke, Oxford History of English Literature

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Patrick White (Patrick Victor Martindale White) Biography to David Wojahn Biography

British scholar, born in Birmingham, educated at Birmingham University and Lincoln College, Oxford. He began lecturing at Oxford in 1921 and was appointed Merton Professor of English Literature in 1947. His early works include editions of Dekker's Plague Pamphlets (1925) and Foure Birds from Noahs Arke (1925). W. W. Greg, his fellow member of the Malone Society, had a formative influence on Wilson's scholarly methods, which concentrated on the assembling of primary materials rather than on textual exegesis. He was the general editor of the Oxford History of English Literature from 1938 onward. His principal studies, which draw on his unrivalled knowledge of Elizabethan usage, are Marlowe and the Early Shakespeare (1953) and the posthumous The English Drama, 1485–1585 (edited by G. K. Hunter, 1969). Although he did not publish extensively, he was regarded, in Dame Helen Gardner's words, as ‘the most learned Elizabethan scholar in the world’. His other works include The Plague in Shakespeare's London (1927) and the essays of Shakespearian and Other Studies (edited by Helen Gardner, 1969).

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