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Nashe, Thomas


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


Thomas Nashe (1567–c.1601) was baptized in Lowestoft, Suffolk. The son of a curate, he entered St John's College, Cambridge as a sizar around 1581, and earned his BA in 1586. Nashe left Cambridge in 1588 and moved to London. His literary career in print began quickly, with a combative preface to Robert Greene's Menaphon appearing in 1589, and his own euphuistic (and probably Cambridge-written) The anatomie of absurditie in 1589. He was the likely author of the anti-Marprelate tract An almond for a parrat (1590), credited to ‘Cutbert Curryknave’, and he wrote a preface to an unlicensed edition of Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella (1591). During the 1590s, he authored a series of more substantial pamphlets, including the popular portrait of urban London Pierce Penilesse (1592); the play Summers last will and testament ( 1592; published 1600); Christes teares over Jerusalem (1593), whose satirical content earned him a spell in Newgate prison; The terrors of the night and The unfortunate traveller (both 1594). He also circulated in manuscript the erotic verse ‘Choice of valentines’, also titled ‘Nashe his dildo’. He notoriously engaged the Cambridge academic Gabriel Harvey, and his brother Richard, in a long-running print controversy, in the books Strange newes (1593), the preface to Christes teares , and Have with you to Saffron-walden (1596). The 1599 Bishops' ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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