Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Grange, John

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GRANGE, JOHN (fl. 1577), poet, calls himself in the title of his only known work, ‘Gentleman, Student in the Common Lavve of Englande;’ and in the dedication to Lord Sturton says of himself, ‘I vvho of all other am to be reputed the moste vnlearned.’ His very curious volume, a copy of which is in the British Museum, is one of the rarest in the whole range of Elizabethan poetry. It is entitled ‘The Golden Aphroditis: A pleasant Discourse … Wherevnto be annexed by the same Authour asvvell certayne Metres vpon sundry poyntes, as also diuers Pamphlets in prose, which he entituleth His Garden: pleasant to the eare, and delightful to the Reader, if he abuse not the scente of the floures,’ 4to, London, 1577. He gives a curious anecdote respecting the title of his work, for which it appears that ‘certen yong Gentlemen, and those of my professed friendes, … requested me earnestly to haue it intituled A nettle for an Ape, but yet (being somevvhat vvedded as most fooles are to mine ovvne opinion vvho vvould hardly forgoe their bable for the Tovver of London) I thought it good (somevvhat to stop a zoilous mouth) to sette a more cleanly name vpon it, that is, Golden Aphroditis.’ The ‘Golden Aphroditis’ is a tale of love, written chiefly in prose, but interspersed with various pieces of poetry composed in different metres. It is carried on for the most part in a dialogue between N. O., the male gallant, and a female, the daughter of Diana by Endymion, styled A. O., that is ‘Alpha and Omega, the firste and the laste that euer she shoulde beare.’ The whole tale is written in a highly pedantic and quaint manner, full of classical, mythological, and unnatural conceits. The second part, called ‘Granges Garden,’ is chiefly in verse, and consists of a number of short poems on different subjects, written in various metres, the titles of which are given by Thomas Park in ‘Censura Literaria’ (i. 383). Grange is mentioned with praise by William Webbe in his ‘Discourse of English Poetrie,’ 4to, 1586.

[Corser's Collectanea (Chetham Soc.), pt. vii. pp. 44–52; Brydges's Censura Lit. (Park), i. 278; Ritson's Bibl. Poet. p. 223; Arber's Stationers' Registers, ii. 148.]

G. G.