chapter  5
16 Pages

New Directions

Ben Jonson's assumption of a new direction in both his personal and professional life coincided strangely with a series of upheavals for the nation at large. Jonson was fortunate in being able to claim Scots descent when so many were rooting around for any shred of tartan that may have clung to a branch of their family tree. Jonson became known to the Queen and to Prince Henry at Althorp. Shortly afterwards the opportunity presented itself to make an impression upon the King too. Early in 1604 Jonson was offered a chance to make a better impression upon the new King. The plans for the coronation celebrations of the year before, long deferred because of the plague, were revived. Jonson was making a good impression, and forming the contacts on which he could build a very different future from the despised craft of 'playwright'.