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Dame Frances Yates's Biography

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Frances Yates was born on 28 November 1899 in Southsea, Hampshire.

Her father was a naval architect.

In 1934. she wrote her first book, John Florio: the life of an Italian in Shakespeare's England.

She had a close association with the Warburg Institute of the University of London, which began shortly after the Second World War.

Frances Yates was Reader in the History of the Renaissance there until 1967, when she became an Honorary Fellow. She was awarded the OBE in 1972 and the DBE in 1977.

Her publications include Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition and The Art of Memory.

Much of what she wrote has been hotly debated. Whatever view one takes of Frances Yates's assertions, her writing provides a useful introduction to some fascinating subjects.

As Frances Yates herself wrote, "I have tried to strike out a pathway through a vast subject but at every stage the picture which I have drawn needs to be supplemented or corrected by further studies."

In her preface to The Art of Memory, Frances Yates acknowledges the debt she owed to the Warburg and, in particular, its director, E.H. Gombrich.

Dame Frances Amelia Yates died on 29 September 1981.

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