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Greene, Robert

Born: 1558 AD
Died: 1592 AD, at 34 years of age.

Nationality: English
Categories: Poets

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1558 - Robert Greene was born on July in Norwich, Norfolk.

1575 - He entered St John’s College, Cambridge, as a sizar.

1578 - He graduated and received his B.A. During the next years, he seems to have travelled widely.

1581 - He returned to Cambridge to take his M.A.

1885 - He married a Lincolnshire woman, who bore him a son, but he abandoned her after he had spent her inheritance.

1588 - The best example of his poetic style is "Pandosto", which was modelled on the prose pastorals of  Sir Philip Sidney, and which was the immediate source for the story of  Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

1591 - He was one of the first professional writers, one of the first autobiographers, and his "Honourable History of Friar Bongay and Friar Bacon", a play.

1592 - His didactic and autobiographical works include "Greene's never too late", containing prodigal son stories largely based on his own experiences, and "Greene's Groatsworth of Wit bought with a Million of Repentance".

         - His "A Notable Discovery of Coosnage" seeks to expose the practices of the panders and whores, swindlers and card-sharps of London for the unwary, and "A disputation betweene a hee conny-catcher and a shee conny-catcher" and "The Blacke Booke's Messenger" continue in this genre with lurid descriptions of the London underworld.

         - His "Quip for an Upstart Courtier or a Quaint Dispute between Velvet-Breeches and Cloth-Breeches" compares the lives of the courtier (Velvet Breeches) and the merchant (Cloth Breeches) in order to find which is deserving of more respect.  

         - He died in the house of a poor shoemaker, leaving the following note for his wife : ‘Doll I charge thee by the love of our youth and by my soul’s rest that thou wilt see this man paid, for if he and his wife had not succoured me, I had died in the streets.’ At his request the shoemaker’s wife garlanded his head with bay leaves.

1594 - His "Honourable History of Friar Bongay and Friar Bacon", was published, one of the first romantic comedies.


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Page last updated: 12:05am, 10th Mar '07