The Plague Pamphlets of Thomas Dekker

The Plague Pamphlets of Thomas Dekker

The Plague Pamphlets of Thomas Dekker

The Plague Pamphlets of Thomas Dekker

Excerpt

Of the six pamphlets included in this book, two -- The Wonderfull yeare and A Rod for Run-awayes -- appeared in Grosart edition of Dekker's Non-Dramatic Works. They are here reprinted for the first time from the first editions. Both are 'scribled papers' written quickly and carelessly by an impecunious poet and dramatist at a time when the plague had shut the doors of the theatres. They represent various aspects of Dekker Protean Muse, now racy and spirited, now conceited and bombastic, now eloquent and rich in poetic colour.

The Meeting of Gallants has also been printed before, though without ascription to any author. I believe the pamphlet to be Dekker's, but I state below my reasons for supposing that the writer, if he is not Dekker, is T. M., author of The Blacke Booke and Father Hubburds Tales.

The remaining three pamphlets, it is believed, are here reprinted for the first time. Of these Newes from Graves-end will be found the most important. Had it been issued with Dekker's name, it would long have ranked with Foure Birds Of Noahs Arke and The Guls Horne-hooke as the best of his non-dramatic works. Some of the verse is worthy of the author's reputation as a lyric poet. London Looke Backe and The Blacke Rod are the slightest of these productions. The world has willingly let them die and to reprint them is perhaps to 'beat the bones of the buried'. Yet even in these lay-sermons of his old age the great subjects of life and . . .

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