Arthur Brooke  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Arthur Brooke (or Arthur Broke) (d. circa 1563) was an English poet whose only known work was The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet (1562), considered to be William Shakespeare's chief source for his famous play Romeo and Juliet. Though ostensibly a translation from the Italian of Bandello, Brooke's poem is a free paraphrase.

In 1565, a prose version of Romeo and Juliet (1567) was printed in The Palace of Pleasure, a collection of tales, in which a previous volume had appeared in 1565, the editor being William Painter, clerk of the armoury to Queen Elizabeth shortly after she came to the throne. Although alas for Painter, his piece is considered greatly inferior to Brooke's poem by many critics.

Nothing is known of Arthur Brooke's life except that he died by shipwreck while passing to Newhaven in or before the year 1563. Several years after his death, in 1567, George Turberville published a collection of poetry entitled, Epitaphs, Epigrams, Songs and Sonnets which included An Epitaph on the Death of Master Arthur Brooke Drownde in Passing to New Haven.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Arthur Brooke" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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