A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Fletcher, Giles, And Phineas

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Fletcher, Giles, And Phineas (1588?-1623) (1582-1650). -- Poets, were the sons of Giles F., himself a minor poet, and Envoy to Russia. Phineas, the elder, was ed. at Eton and Camb., and entered the Church, becoming Rector of Hilgay, Norfolk. He wrote The Purple Island (1633), a poem in 10 books, giving an elaborate allegorical description of the body and mind of man, which, though tedious and fanciful, contains some fine passages, recalling the harmonious sweetness of Spenser, whose disciple the poet was. He was also the author of Piscatory Dialogues. 'Giles', the younger, was also ed. at Camb., and, like his brother, became a country parson, being Rector of Alderton. His poem, Christ's Victory and Triumph (1610), which, though it contains passages rising to sublimity, is now almost unknown except to students of English literature, is said to have influenced Milton.

Both brothers, but especially Giles, had a genuine poetic gift, but alike in the allegorical treatment of their subjects and the metre they adopted, they followed a style which was passing away, and thus missed popularity. They were cousins of John F., the dramatist.