Bale, John

Bale, John, 1495–1563, English dramatist and clergyman. An ardent proponent of the Reformation, he used the stage as a vehicle for his views. His most famous play, King John (written c.1535), shows the transition from the medieval morality play to the Renaissance historical drama by allegorical treatment of the fate of England rather than of the fate of man's soul. Bale's Illustrium … Scriptorum (1548) is one of the first bibliographies of English literature.

See H. McCusker, John Bale, Dramatist and Antiquary (1942, repr. 1971); L. P. Fairfield, John Bale: Mythmaker for the English Reformation (1976).

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