Ben Jonson was born in 1572, the posthumous son of a minister and was educated at Westminster School thanks to an unknown patron. In 1597, after brief careers as a bricklayer and soldier, he began to work for Henslowe's company as a player and playwright. In addition to the comedies Jonson also produced two tragedies. In 1616 he was granted a royal pension and was made, in effect, Poet Laureate. He died on 6 August 1637.
Michael Jamieson has taught at the University of Rome and the University of California. He has published a study of As You Like It and articles on Elizabethan acting and on modern theatres for Shakespeare.