What else is happening during the Sixteenth Century?  Well, the way the Norton treats the period, it's contemporaneous with both the Tudor Dynasty (1485-1603: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary, Elizabeth I) and much of "The Little Ice Age."  Some climate scientists limit it to 1500-1650 (i.e., into the reign of the Stuart kings [James I, Charles I] and the Civil War [1642-9].  Other climate scientists believe the global cooling effects lasted into the C19 (i.e., English 212).  In addition to frequent food shortages, wars, and the freezing of the River Thames, the sudden drop in global temperatures by about .6 degrees Celsius appears to have accompanied a dramatic increase in England's literary output.  Only a coincidence?