The most widely accepted identification of E.K. is as Edward Kirke (1553-1613) of Pembroke Hall and then Caius College, Cambridge. The identification with Spenser himself, or with Harvey, is now discountenanced. More recently, Paul McLane (in Spenser's Shepheardes Calender [Notre Dame, 1961]) has proposed for consideration the poet and friend of Sidney, Fulke Greville (1554-1628). That suggestion has at least the merit of being interesting, since something is known of Fulke Greville, and nothing of Edward Kirke (though see René Graziani, 'Verses by E.K.', N&Q, CCXIV , 21). E.K. was also engaged to write a gloss on the Dreames (see No. 2a).
(a) The epistle To the most excellent and learned…Mayster Gabriell Harvey in The Shepheardes Calender (1579), sigs. ¶ij-¶iijv (repr. in all editions of Spenser):
Uncovthe vnkiste, Say de the olde famous Poete Chaucer: whom for his excellencie and wonderfull skil in making, his scholler Lidgate, a worthy scholler of so excellent a maister, calleth the Loadestarre of our Language: and whom our Colin clout in his Aeglogue calleth Tityrus the God of shepheards, comparing hym to the worthiness of the Roman Tityrus Virgile. Which prouerbe, myne owne good friend Ma. Haruey, as in that good old Poete it serued well Pandares purpose, for the bolstering of his baudy brocage, so very well taketh place in this our new Poete, who for that he is vncouthe (as said Chaucer) is vnkist, and vnknown to most men, is regarded but of few. But I dout not, so soone as his name shall come into the knowledg of men, and