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A tradition of indirection

This book examines the satirical poetry of Edmund Spenser and argues for his importance as a model and influence for younger poets writing satires in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The book focuses on reading satirical texts of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in relation to one another, with specific attention to the role that Edmund Spenser plays in that literary subsystem. The book connects key Spenserian texts in The Shepheardes Calender and the Complaints volume with poems by a range of authors in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, including Joseph Hall, Thomas Nashe, Tailboys Dymoke, Thomas Middleton, and George Wither to advance the thesis that Spenser was seen by his contemporaries as highly relevant to satire in Elizabethan England. For scholars of satire, the book offers a fuller discussion and theorization of the type of satire that Spenser wrote, “indirect satire,” than has been provided elsewhere. A theory of indirect satire benefits not just Spenser studies, but satire studies as well. For scholars of English Renaissance satire in particular, who have tended to focus on the formal verse satires of the 1590s to the exclusion of attention to more indirect forms such as Spenser’s, this book is a corrective, an invitation to recognize the importance of a style of satire that has received little attention.

for satirical readings or uses of Spenserian intertexts. Analyzing Thomas Nashe’s Choise of Valentines with reference to Spenser’s “March” eclogue from The Shepheardes Calender and Tailboys Dymoke’s Caltha Poetarum alongside Spenser’s Muiopotmos gives a sense of the code of indirect satire as a flexible vocabulary of subterfuge and innuendo. In Nashe’s, Dymoke’s, and (in the chapter’s “coda”) Shakespeare’s responses to and reworkings of Spenserian images and narratives, we see the overwhelming significance of Spenser in the literary field of the 1590s. Hunting love

in Spenserian satire

I’ve suggested that in As You Like It Shakespeare etched into Touchstone an effigy of Thomas Nashe. I will show that in Twelfth Night Shakespeare produced another, more highly developed portrait of Nashe as Feste – and thrust him back into conflict with his real-life nemesis Gabriel Harvey, whom Shakespeare cast as Malvolio – ‘He who

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

–1224. 11 Elam, Twelfth Night , 16. 12 Ronald B. McKerrow , The Workes of Thomas Nashe, 5 vols (London: Sidgwick & Jackson 1904–10, repr. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1958), I.276. 13

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

whom Thomas Nashe had challenged as ‘mice-eyed decipherers’. During his life Shakespeare had been sufficiently wise to recognize that authorial disclaimers and protests of innocence would only excite notoriety and invite closer scrutiny. In fact, we seem to have only one repudiation from his lips – and that a markedly mild one, hardly more than a brushstroke – when he

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
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Personal Shakespeare

friends, lovers, enemies. I have cited only a handful: Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nashe, Emilia Bassano Lanier, Gabriel Harvey, William Brooke, the Careys, and Hamnet Shakespeare. But the personal associations in Shakespeare’s plays remain a dimension less than well understood. Perhaps that was why the playwright remained inscrutable to Thomas Carlyle, and why Sidney Lee found his art

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

of Thomas Nashe (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984 ), 136. 11 Ronald B. McKerrow, ed., The Workes of Thomas Nashe , 5 vols (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1904–10, repr. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1958 ), III.227 ff. 12 Roger Warren

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

as a ‘perfect’ and holy number, and a cycle of seven years as particularly auspicious. Furthermore, I will propose that in the character of Touchstone Shakespeare sketched a thumbnail of his and Marlowe’s sometime collaborator Thomas Nashe (d. 1599–1600). Finally, I will suggest that Shakespeare provides the date of his own arrival at London and his first encounter with

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
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general in this time period is confused and incomplete, in part no doubt because of the sense that it was safer not to speak too clearly about the ways that poets could and did criticize those in power. We can see this emphasis on discretion in Thomas Nashe’s abuse of Gabriel Harvey for criticizing Spenser’s malcontented- MUP_Hile_SpenserSatire_Printer.indd 174 14/10/2016 15:36 Conclusion 175 ness in Mother Hubberds Tale: “If any man were vndeseruedly toucht in it, thou hast reuiued his disgrace that was so toucht in it, by renaming it, when it was worn out of al

in Spenserian satire

, Thomas Dekker and Thomas Nashe articulated a distinct and jealously guarded urban mentality. In contrast to interpretations provided by the moral authority of church, court and City, the transitional metropolitan scene found expression in an eclectic range of destabilizing moral and verbal conventions. 13 In a host of hugely popular plays, pamphlets and ballads, London became

in The other empire