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Edward de Vere the seventeenth Earl of Oxford is perhaps the most influential and imaginative author of the renaissance Though he received a bad name for his poor money management and harsh behavior his work on poetry and development of verse has been key to the history of literature De Vere was born at Castle Hedingham in Essex April 2 1550 May 1 The de Vere family was hereditarily the Lord Chamberlains of England May 1 They had been among the countrys finest Earls since they had arrived from Normandy with William the conqueror Ogburn 4 Edwards father the sixteenth Earl was a kind and popular man who owned a company of theatrical players at Hedingham May 2 He died when Edward was 12 and Edward then moved to London with William Cecil the most powerful man in the country Green letter De Veres relationship with Cecil was never very good even after he married Cecils 14-year-old daughter Anne Ogburn 12 Edward earned a Bachelors degree at the age of 14 a Masters at 16 then studied law Ogburn 6 He lost vast sums of money by backing failed trips to the New World and selling off most of his inheritance Green letter De Vere was a fan of the arts He was associated with the growth of the public theatre he was the leader of a group of writers dedicated to developing the English language and is regarded as one of the finest Elizabethan poets Frisbee 27 By the year of 1571 Edward de Vere was probably regarded with higher expectations than any other young nobleman May 3 He was the premier earl of England son in law and student of William Cecil and an accomplished wealthy educated man He was praised and thought of very highly However by January of 1575 he was well on his way to being broke May 3 He had set out upon an elegant continental tour May
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