Greene, Robert - George a Greene
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-07. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2022-05-27.
The attribution of the play George a Greene to Robert Greene is uncertain.
- Dodsley, Robert, ed. A Select Collection of Old Plays (London, 1780), vol. I, pp. 1-58.
- [Dodsley, Robert], ed.; Reed, Isaac, ed.; Gilchrist, Octavius, ed. A Select Collection of Old Plays (London, 1825-27), vol. III, pp. 1-48.
- Greene, Robert. The Plays & Poems of Robert Greene, ed. J. Churton Collins (Oxford, 1905), vol. II, pp. 159-217, 367-77.
Studies and criticism
- Detobel, Robert. 'Shapiro-Tagebuch (3): "Forgeing" oder Forschhung?', Shake-Speare (Neue Shake-speare Gesellschaft, April 14, 2010). Online item.
- Greg, W.W. 'Note on the Society's Publications', [Malone Society] Collections, [vol. 1], pts. IV-V (1911). pp. 285-95; see pp. 288-90, on the authenticity of the MS attribution of the play to Robert Greene.
- Kyungchan Charles Min. 'A Case against Robert Greene’s Authorship of George A Greene', Notes & Queries, vol. 62 (2015), pp. 82-84. Argues on linguistic evidence that the attribution to Robert Greene is untenable.
- Lin, Erika T. "Popular Festivity and the Early Modern Stage: The Case of George a Greene", Theatre Journal, vol. 61 (2009), pp. 271-97.
- Melnikoff, Kirk, ed.; Gieskes, Edward, ed. writing Robert Greene: Essay's on England's First Notorious Professional Writer (Aldershott, 2008).
- Murphy, Donna N. 'George A Greene and Robert Greene', Notes & Queries, Series 3, vol. 59 (2012), pp. 53-58. Argues on linguistic and stylistic evidence that the attribution to Robert Greene should be upheld.
- Nelson, Alan H. 'George Buc, William Shakespeare, and the Folger George a Greene', Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 49 (1998), pp. 74-83.
- Sykes, Henry Dugdale. 'Robert Greene and George a Greene, the Pinner of Wakefield', The Review of English Studies, Original Series, vol. VII (1931), pp. 129-36.
- Sykes, Henry Dugdale. 'Robert Greene and George a Greene, the Pinner of Wakefield', The Review of English Studies, Original Series, vol. IX (1933), pp. 189-90
- Wolther, Jürgen. 'Two Elizabethan Parvenus: Jack of Newbury and George a Greene', Notes & Queries, vol. 25 (1978), pp. 437-39.
- Brereton, J Le Gay. 'Notes on Greene and the Editor from Birmingham', Beiblatt zur Anglia, vol. 18 (1907), pp. 46-62; see pp. 48, 60-61: on mistakes in John Churton Collins's edition of the play.
- Forsythe, R.S. 'Certain Sources of Sir John Oldcastle', Modern Language Notes, vol. XXVI (1911), pp. 104-107; see pp. 105-106 n. 2: scenes in Sir John Oldcastle and Shakespeare's Henry V where an emissary is forced to eat the seal on a document are inspired by George a Greene, Act I, Sc. 3.
- Freeburg, Victor Oscar. Disguise Plots in Elizabethan Drama: a Study in Stage Tradition (Columbia University Studies in English and Comparative Literature) (New York, 1915), pp. 24, 91 n., 107-108, 126 n., 161-62, 219.
- Oliphant, E.H. C. 'Problems of Authorship in Elizabethan Dramatic Lierature', Modern Philology, vol. VIII (1911), pp. 411-59; see pp. 23: regards MS note attributing play to Greene as a forgery; suggests Heywood had a hand in the play; alsos see pp. 435, 459.
- Reynolds, George F. 'Some Principles of Elizabethan Staging. Part II.', Modern Philology, vol. III (1905), pp. 69-97; see p. 76.
- Simpson, Percy. 'Actors and Acting', chapter XXIV in: Lee, Sidney, ed.; Onions, Charles Talbut, ed.; Raleigh, Walter, ed. Shakespeare's England: an Account of the Life and Manners of his Age (Oxford, 1917), vol. II, pp. 240-82; see vol. II, pp. 272-73 for an example from George à Greene of the "very simple principle [which] determines the location of the scene: it is left vague unless the action requires it to be fixed; then the playwright frankly says so through the mouth of an actor."
"But hast my Muse in colours to display,
Some auncient customes in their high roade way,
By which thy louing Countrey men doe passe,
Conferring that now is, with which once was, [p. 203:]
At least such places labour to make knowne,
As former times haue honour'd with renowne.
So by thy true relation 't may appeare
They are no others now, then as they were,
Euer esteem'd by auntient times records,
Which shall be shadow'd briefly in few words.
The first whereof that I intend to show,
Is merry Wakefield and her Pindar too;
Which Fame hath blaz'd with all that did belong,
Vnto that Towne in many gladsome song:
The Pindars valour and how firme he stood,
In th' Townes defence 'gainst th' Rebel Robin-hood,
How stoutly he behav'd himfelfe, and would,
In spite of Robin bring his horse to th' fold,
His many May games which were to be seene,
Yeerely presented vpon Wakefield greene,
Where louely Iugge and lustie Tib would go,
To see Tom-liuely turne vpon the toe;
Hob, Lob, and Crowde the fidler would be there,
And many more I will not speake of here:
Good god how glad hath been this hart of mine
To see that Towne, which hath in former time,
So florish'd and so gloried in her name,
Famous by th' Pindar who first rais'd the same?
Yea I haue paced ore that greene and ore,
And th' more I saw't, I tooke delight the more,
"For where we take contentment in a place,
"A whole daies walke, seemes as a cinquepace:
Yet as there is no solace vpon earth,
Which is attended euermore with mirth: [p. 204]
But when we are transported most with gladnesse,
Then suddenly our ioyes reduc'd to sadnesse,
So far'd with me to see the Pindar gone,
And of those iolly laddes that were, not one
Left to suruiue: I griev'd more then Ile fay,
(But now for Brad-ford I muft hast away).
Brad-ford if I should rightly set it forth,
Stile it I might Banberry of the North,
And well this title with the Towne agrees,
Famous for twanging, Ale, Zeale, Cakes and Cheese:
But why should I set zeale behinde their ale?
Because zeale is for some, but ale for all;
Zealous indeed some are (for I do heare,
Of many zealous sempring sister there)
Who loue their brother, from their heart iffaith.
For it is charity, as scripture saith,
But I am charm'd, God pardon what's amisse,
For what will th' wicked say that heare of this,
How by some euill brethren 't hath been sed,
Th' Brother was found in 's zealous sisters bed?
Vnto thy taske my Muse, and now make knowne,
The iolly shoo-maker of Brad-ford towne,
His gentle-craft so rais'd in former time
By princely Iourney-men his discipline,
"VVhere he was wont with passengers to quaffe,
"But suffer none to carry vp their staffe
Vpon their shoulders, whilst they past through town
For if they did he soon would beat them downe.
(So valiant was the Souter) and from hence,
Twixt Robin-hood and him grew th' difference; [p. 205:]
VVich cause it is by most stage-poets writ,
For breuity, I thought good to omit, [...]
With that the smug-fac'd Pluto shook his vestment,
Deep ruminating what the weighty Jest meant,
Calling to mind old Dodonæus Herbal,
With Taciturnity and Actions verbal,
Quoth he, I care not for Friend or Kinsman,
Nor do I value honesty two pins man:
But 'tis a Maxim Mortals cannot hinder,
The doughty deeds of Wakefields huff-cap Pindar,
Are not so pleasant as the fair Aurora,
When Nimrod rudely played on his Bandora.
Hinc diverso cursu, serò
Quod audissem de Pindero
Wakefeeldensi, gloria mundi,
Ubi socii sunt jucundi,
Mecum statui peragrare
Georgii fustem visitare.
Veni Wakefeeld peramænum,
Ubi quærens Georgium Grenum,
Non inveni, sed in lignum
Fixum reperi Georgii signum,
Ubi allam bibi feram,
Donec Georgio fortior eram."
Turning thence, none could me hinder
To salute the Wakefield Pinder;
Who indeed's the world's glory,
With his Cumrades never sory.
This the cause was, lest you misse it,
Georgies Club I meant to visit.
Streight at Wakefeeld was I seene a,
Where I sought for George a Greene a,
But I could find no such creature,
On a Signe I saw his feature:
Where the strength of ale so stirr'd me,
I grew stouter farre than Geordie.
Vale Stone, & Sacellum
Quod splendentem habet Stellam,
Vale Haywood, Bruarton, Ridglay,
Lichfield, Coventre, Colesyl, Edglay,
Meredin, Wakefield, & amæni
Campi, chori Georgii Greeni.
Farewell pretious Stone, and Chappell
Where Stella shines more fresh than th' apple,
Farewell Haywood, Bruarton, Ridglay,
Lichfield, Coventre, Colesyl, Edglay,
Meredin, Wakefield, farewell cleene-a
Meedes and Mates of George a Greene-a.
From Leeds I went to Wakefield, where if the valiant Pindar had been living, I would have played Don Quixot's part and challenged him; but being it was so happy that he was dead, I passed the town in peace to Barnsley, and so to Wortley, to Sir Francis Wortley's ancient house.
At Course-a-Park, without all doubt,
He should have first been taken out
By all the maids i' th' town:
Though lusty Roger there had been.
Or little George upon the Green,
Or Vincent of the Crown.
But wot you what ? the youth was going
To make an end of all his wooing;
The parson for him staid:
Yet by his leave (for all his haste)
He did not so much wish all past
(Perchance) as did the maid.
The maid—and thereby hangs a tale;
For such a maid no Whitson-ale
Could ever yet produce:
No grape, that's kindly ripe, could be
So round, so plump, so soft as she,
Nor half so full of juice.
On the character George a Greene
- See for instance Murphy, Donna N. 'George A Greene and Robert Greene', Notes & Queries, Series 3, vol. 59 (2012), pp. 53-58; Kyungchan Charles Min. 'A Case against Robert Greene’s Authorship of George A Greene', Notes & Queries, vol. 62 (2015), pp. 82-84.
- op. cit., vol. II, p. 272.
- [Braithwaite, Richard]; Ebsworth, Joseph Woodfall, introd. A Strappado For the Diuell (Boston, Lincolnshire, 1878), pp. 202-204.
- [Braithwaite, Richard]; Ebsworth, Joseph Woodfall, introd. A Strappado For the Diuell (Boston, Lincolnshire, 1878), pp. 204-205.
- Taylor, John; Hindley, Charles, ed. Works of John Taylor, the Water Poet (London and Westminster, 1872), p. 10 of Sir Gregory Nonsence
- Braithwaite, Richard; Haslewood, Joseph, ed. Barnabæ Itinerarium, or Barnabee's Journal (London, 1820), vol. II, pp. 60-63; note in vol. I, p. 93.
- Braithwaite, Richard; Haslewood, Joseph, ed. Barnabæ Itinerarium, or Barnabee's Journal (London, 1820), vol. II, pp. 364-65.
- Taylor, John; Hindley, Charles, ed. Works of John Taylor, the Water Poet (London and Westminster, 1872), p. 23 of This Summers Travels.
- Suckling, John; Thompson, A. Hamilton, ed. The Works of Sir John Suckling in Prose and Verse (London; New York, Toronto, 1910), p. 30 (ll. 19-36), notes p. 371.