After the supreme achievements of Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney, the three writers collected here rank among the greatest masters of Elizabethan Renaissance literature.
In a golden age for both music and poetry, Thomas Campion (1567-1620) wrote exquisite songs in a rich variety of voices: ardent, cynical, lecherous, seductive and vengeful. Samuel Daniel (1562-1619) vividly depicted tangled emotional states and a poignant sense of time passing in the sonnet sequence 'Delia' and the probing philosophical poem 'Musophilus'.
And Sir Walter Ralegh (1554-1618), the most flamboyant of adventurers, was also the perfect court poet, whose highly charged erotic verse includes elaborate exercises in flirtation addressed to the Virgin Queen. Taken together, they demonstrate the dazzling range, subtlety and power of Elizabethan writing.