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Tyler, Margaretlocked

(fl. 1558–1578)
  • Louise Schleiner

Tyler, Margaret (fl. 1558–1578), translator, translated as The Mirrour of Princely Deedes and Knighthood (1578) the first book of a work in Spanish by Diego Ortuñez de Calahorra. This was the first English publication of a secular text translated by a woman. Her preface and dedication to Lord Thomas Howard say that she is of a 'staied age' (A4v) and was a 'servant' to his parents (A2v), the duke and second duchess of Norfolk, thus roughly between 1558 and 1564. A waiting-woman who translated romances for household entertainment, she might have been married to another literate ducal employee, perhaps the 'John Tyler, Gentleman' who copied a survey of tenant leases in 1565 (CUL, MS 5909). Her spirited preface defends a woman's right to pen secular stories: if books can be dedicated to women, they must be able to read and write books. She should not be expected to write of divinity, having no competence for it. And finally, translation is 'a matter of more heede' than of manly invention or learning (A4); she has only given 'entertainment to a stranger' (A2v).


  • N. Williams, Thomas Howard, fourth duke of Norfolk (1964)
  • L. Schleiner, ‘Margaret Tyler, translator and waiting woman’, English Language Notes, 29/3 (1992), 1–8
  • D. Eisenberg, An edition of a sixteenth-century romance of chivalry: Diego Ortuñez de Calahorra's ‘Espejo de principes y cavalleros’ (1971)
  • J. de Perrot, ‘The mirrour of knighthood’, Romantic Review, 4 (1913), 397–402
  • H. Wilcox, Women and literature in Britain (1996)