Ascham, Margaret Howe (c. 1535–1590)

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Ascham, Margaret Howe (c. 1535–1590)

English letter writer. Born Margaret Howe around 1535 in England; died in England in 1590; married humanist scholar Roger Ascham (1515–1568).

A member of the English aristocracy, Margaret Howe Ascham was a participant in the humanist movement that revolutionized England in the 16th century, emphasizing human potential and placing humanity, rather than God, at the center of philosophy. Highly educated, Margaret married the humanist Roger Ascham and became an important supporter of her husband's work. Hailed as the leading humanist of his day, Roger Ascham was a writer and teacher who served as the tutor of, among others, the princess Elizabeth Tudor, later Queen Elizabeth I . Through Roger's contacts, Margaret was acquainted with many of her country's greatest figures, including Henry VIII's last queen Catherine Parr (1512–1548). After Roger's death in 1568, Margaret arranged for the publication of his final work, a treatise on practical education published as The Scholemaster (The Schoolmaster) in 1570. Margaret began the work with a letter of preface, in which she sums up the work and dedicates the book to William Cecil, Lord Burghley, who was Queen Elizabeth's secretary and one of England's great leaders. The Schoolmaster quickly became a seminal text of humanism, and remains one of the most important documents of 16th-century humanist thought.

Laura York , Anza, California

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Ascham, Margaret Howe (c. 1535–1590)

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