John Vyvyan was born in Sussex, England, in 1908.
Being educated in Switzerland for most of his life, Vyvyan trained as an archaeologist before pursuing his career in the Middle East. Here, Vyvyan worked with Sir. Flinders Petrie, realising his disdain for the working environment and arduous field work as time went on. Retiring as an archaeologist, Vvyan became a Shakespearean scholar and chose to focus more on writing. As a result, Vyvyan’s most notable works include The Shakespearean Ethic, Shakespeare and Platonic Beauty and Shakespeare and the Rose of Love. Still, Vyvyan did also write books aside from this trilogy on Shakespeare. Two of Vyvyan’s other books The Dark Face and In Pity and in Anger: A Study of the Use of Animals in Science explore the origins of anti-vivisection activism. For instance, In Pity and in Anger: A Study of the Use of Animals in Science details the disputes between Anna Kingsford and Frances Power Cobbe, who were two significant 19th-century British activists.
Sadly, John Vyvyan died in Exmouth on the 12th February 1975. In recognition of his trilogy and contribution to Shakespearean scholarship, Vyvyan was offered a visiting lectureship at the State University of New York. Unfortunately, he was unable to take it up. Vyvyan’s work will be recognised for years to come, his work on Shakespeare providing new insight into the playwright’s works as well as the philosophies motivating his brilliant literature.