While Robert Greene was the most prolific and perhaps the most notorious professional writer in Elizabethan England, he continues to be best known for his 1592 quip comparing Shakespeare to "an upstart crow." In his short twelve-year career, Greene wrote dozens of popular pamphlets in a variety of genres and numerous professional plays. At his premature death in 1592, he was a bonafide London celebrity, simultaneously maligned as Grub-Street profligate and celebrated as literary prodigy. The present volume constitutes the first collection of Greene's reception both in the early modern period and in our present era, offering in its poems, prose passages, essays, and chapters that which is most singular among what has been written about Greene and his work. It also includes a complete list of Greene's contemporary reception until 1640. Kirk Melnikoff's wide-ranging and revisionist introduction organizes this reception generically while at the same time situating it in the context of recent critical methodologies.
'excellent critical anthology…' Sixteenth Century Journal 'Melnikoff has done the scholarly community a great service by assembling a substantial and coherent collection of essays that illustrate the positive treatments of Greene’s prose contrasted with the shabby treatment of the drama'. Marlowe Society of America Newsletter
Contents: Introduction; Part I Greene's Life: Greene's life, Charles Crupi; Robert Greene and his classmates at Cambridge, Johnstone Parr. Part II Early Reception: Roger Portington Esquier, in commendation of the booke, Roger Portington; In praise of the author and his booke, G.B. [William Boston]; Richard Stapleton gentleman to the courteous and courtlie ladies of England, Richard Stapleton; Au R. Greene gentilhome, sonnet, John Eliot; In Roberi Greni metamorphosin, carmen enkomiastikon, G.B. [William Boston]; In laudem Roberti Greni Cantab. In artibus margistri, Unsigned; Thomas Brabine gent. In praise of the author, Thomas Brabine; From 'To the gentlemen students of both uniuersities', Thomas Nashe; From Greene's Never Too Late, Richard Hake; [Untitled] from 'Francesco's Fortunes', R.S.; From 'Four Letters and Certain Sonnets', Gabriel Harvey; The printer to the gentlemen readers, Cuthbert Burby; From 'Strange News', Thomas Nashe; From 'Kind-Harts Dream', Henry Chettle; From 'Greene's News both from Heaven and Hell', Barnabe Rich; Sonnet IIII, Sonnet VIII, Sonnet IX and Sonnet X, Richard Barnfield; From 'To the Christian Reader', Thomas Bowes; From Have with You to Saffron-Walden, Thomas Nashe; An aduertisement to the reader, John Dickenson; From Palladis Tamia, Francis Meres. Part III Greene, Print Culture and Authorship: From The Marketplace of Print: Pamphlets and the Public Sphere in Early Modern England, Alexandra Halasz; Anti-epic traditions: Greene's romances, Steve Mentz; 'Social things': the production of popular culture in the reception of Robert Greene's 'Pandosto', Lori Humphrey Newcomb. Part IV Greene's Early and Mid-Career Fiction: Rhetorical romance: the 'frivolous toyes' of Robert Greene, W.W. Barker; Robert Greene and Greek romance, Walter R. Davis; Humanist poetics and Elizabethan fiction, Arthur F. Kinney. Part V Greene, Romance and Gender: 'Silenced but for the word': the discourse of incest in Greene's 'Pandosto' and 'Menaphon', Brenda Cantar; Homosociality, imitation, and gendered reading in Robert Greene's 'Ciceronis Amor', Kevin L. Gustafson; Penelope and the politics of woman's place in the Renaissance, Georgianna Ziegler. Part VI Greene and Drama: The serious comedy of Greene's 'James IV', A.R. Braunmuller; Robert Greene's 'Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay': the commonwealth of the present moment, Kent Cartwright; Masculinity and magic in 'Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay', Ian McAdam; Greene's attack on Marlowe: some light on 'Alphonsus' and 'Selimus', Irving Ribner; The comedy of Greene and Shakespeare, Norman Sanders. Part VII Greene's True Crime: Greene discovering, Reid Barbour; 'Masters of their occupation': labor and fellowship in the cony-catching pamphlets, Karen Helfand Bix; Cony-catching: anatomy of anatomy, Lawrence Manley. Part VIII Greene and Repentance: Gower, Chaucer, and the art of repentance in Robert Greene's 'Vision', Jeremy Dimmick; Greene, Richard Helgerson. Appendix: a bibliography of further Greene references to 1700. Name index.