John Ford (1586 - 1639)
John Ford (1586 – ca. 1639) was an English playwright and poet of the Jacobean and Caroline eras born in Ilsington in Devon. He was a major playwright during the reign of Charles I. His plays deal with conflicts between individual passion and conscience and the laws and morals of society at large; Ford had a strong interest in abnormal psychology that is expressed through his dramas. His plays often show the influence of Robert Burton's "The Anatomy of Melancholy." While virtually nothing is known of Ford's personal life, one reference suggests that Ford's interest in melancholia may have been more than merely intellectual. The volume Choice Drollery (1656) asserts that
Deep in a dump alone John Ford was gat,
With folded arms and melancholy hat.
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