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Thomas Lodge- His Final Years

Updated: Aug 14, 2021

His final Years:

Lodge’s final volume of poetry was published in 1595, A Fig for Momus: containing pleasant varietie, included in Satyres, Eclogues, and Epistles incorporates. The epistles of A Fig for Momus are indeed “that kind, wherein no Englishman of our time hath publiquely written.” As Lodge borrowed form and style from the Romans for his satires, he also borrowed for his epistles, the difference is lying in name only. The best of Lodge’s epistles concern Renaissance pseudo-science: Epistle 2 on dreams, Epistle 7 on alchemy, and Epistle 3 on overweight.

The first of these last works is A Margarite of America, a prose romance, and the nearest thing to a novel in the modern sense that Lodge wrote. The story tells of the union of two countries through the marriage of Margarita of Mosoco and Arsadachus of Cusco. Arsadachus, a villain, soon reveals his character at the Moscan court through deceit and murder, but she escapes to Cusco without punishment. Margarita follows him, aided by an old counselor, Arsinous, who is seeking revenge, and a friendly lion. Arsadachus spurns Margarita, marries another, and laughs at the death of his parents. He finally becomes insane, murdering his new wife, his son, and Margarita. In a lucid moment, he realizes his crimes, blinds himself, and takes his own life. Although A Fig for Momus was Lodge’s last poetic endeavor, he published a number of lyrics in Margarite.

Early in 1606, he seems to have left England, to escape the persecution then directed against the Catholics; and a letter from him dated 1610 thanks to the English ambassador in Paris for enabling him to return in safety. He was abroad on urgent private affairs of one kind and another in 1616. From this time to his death nothing further concerning him remains to be noted. Lodge while practicing medicine in London lived first in Warwick Lane, afterward in Lambert Hill, and finally in Old Fish Street in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen. He died in Old Fish Street in 1625, apparently in the Roman Catholic communion.


Thomas Lodge- Rae, Wesley D., author

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