Greene, Robert

Greene, Robert,

1558?–1592, English author. His short romances, written in the manner of Lyly's Euphues, include Pandosto (1588), from which Shakespeare drew the plot for A Winter's Tale, and Menaphon (1589). His best plays, Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (1594) and The Scottish History of James IV (1598), are a potpourri of romance, fantasy, and history. He wrote numerous tracts and pamphlets reflecting his knowledge of the London underworld as well as his own bohemian life. An alleged attack on Shakespeare—one of the earliest references to the man—is in Greene's Groatsworth of Wit Bought with a Million of Repentance (1592). A Quip for an Upstart Courtier (1592), a social allegory, is considered his best pamphlet. Greene's short life ended in dire poverty. After his death he became the subject of a heated quarrel between Gabriel HarveyHarvey, Gabriel,
1545?–1630?, English author. He studied at Cambridge and became a fellow of Pembroke Hall. There he became friends with Edmund Spenser, who later celebrated Harvey as Hobbinol in The Shepherd's Calendar.
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 and Thomas NasheNashe or Nash, Thomas
, 1567–1601, English satirist. Very little is known of his life. Although his first publications appeared in 1589, it was not until Pierce Penniless His Supplication to the Devil
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See his Life and Complete Works (ed. by A. B. Grosart, 15 vol., 1881–86; repr. 1964).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Greene, Robert


Born July 1558, in Norwich; died Sept. 3, 1592, in London. English author and playwright.

The first of Greene’s plays that has been preserved is The Comicall Historie of Alphonsus King of Aragon (c. 1588). Greene and T. Lodge wrote the satirical comedies A Looking Glasse for London and Englande (1590) and The Historie of Orlando Furioso (1591). Greene’s most famous plays are The Honourable Historie of Frier Bacon and Frier Bongay (1589) and The Scottish Historie of King James IV (1591, published 1598), which combine a theme of love and adventure with a comical plot. He was the author of pamphlets and the pastoral novels Pandosto (1598) and Menaphon (1589). Shakespeare used the plot of Pandosto in A Winter’s Tale. Greene was probably the author of the anonymous A Pleasant Comedy of George Green, the Wakefield Guard (1599), which glorified a peasant who helped the king suppress a feudal revolt.


Plays and Poems, vols. 1–2. Oxford, 1905.
In Russian translation:
In Khrestomatiia po zapadnoevropeiskoi literature: Epokha Vozrozhdeniia. Compiled by B. I. Purishev. Moscow. 1947.


Storozhenko, N. [I.] Robert Grin: Ego zhizn’ i proizvedeniia. Moscow, 1878.
Veselovskii, A. N. “Robert Grin i ego issledovateli.” Sobr. soch., vol. 4, fase. 1. St. Petersburg, 1909. Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, fasc. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1943.
Istoriia zapadnoe vropeiskogo teatra, vol. 1. Moscow, 1956.
Jordan. J. C. R. Greene. New York, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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David Gottlieb, Jed Greene, Ronald Greene, Robert, Hillberg.
My favourite writers are Graham Greene, Robert Harris and John le Carre of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.