Fulke Greville Lord Brooke



Poems and Dramas of Fulke Greville, ed. Geoffrey Bullough, 2 vols (Edinburgh & London, [1939])


The Prose Works of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, ed. John Gouws (Oxford, 1986)


The Works in Verse and Prose Complete of the Right Honourable Fulke Greville, ed. Alexander B. Grosart, 4 vols, Fuller Worthies Library (privately printed, 1870).


The Complete Poems and Plays of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (1554-1628), ed. G.A. Wilkes (2 vols, Lewiston, NY, c.2008)

Wilkes Remains

Fulke Greville, The Remains, ed. G.A. Wilkes (Oxford, 1965).


The Warwick Manuscripts

The six bound volumes of Fulke Greville's literary manuscripts formerly at Warwick Castle and now in the British Library (Add. MSS 54566-71) have been described as the most substantial existing set of authorized manuscript texts of any distinguished Elizabethan or Jacobean poet (the more extensive Hawthornden manuscripts of William Drummond being working drafts). The Warwick Manuscripts, which are all fair copies made by scribes, some containing the author's autograph corrections and revisions, were first collated in Grosart (1870), and have since been used by other editors, notably Bullough (1939). The six volumes are generally cited by the letters A-F (see Bullough, I, 27-9), and Bullough designated the scribal hands by the letters a-d (I, 32), although scribes a and b have since been recognised as one and the same and it is possible that this hand is also that of scribe d. The manuscripts are described in some detail in W. Hilton Kelliher, ‘The Warwick Manuscripts of Fulke Greville’, British Museum Quarterly, 34 (1969-70), 107-21.

Manuscript Copies and the Canon

Apart from the Warwick MSS, the most notable manuscript texts of Greville's works are additional copies of his play Mustapha (GrF 29-31), certain variant readings for that play recorded by his editor Sir Kenelm Digby (GrF 32), and early copies of Greville's Life of Sidney (GrF 24-6). There are also a few early copies of particular poems and a draft letter by Sir John Coke (GrF 6) which gives us some idea of what Greville's lost Latin epitaph on Sidney was like. One poem, which begins ‘A tale I once did heare a true man tell’, and which did not appear either in Greville's Certaine Learned and Elegant Workes (London, 1633) or in his Remains (London, 1670), can be added to the canon on the basis of ascription to ‘Mr Grevell’ and to ‘Sr F. G.’ in miscellanies owned by Sir John Harington and Sir Robert Cecil respectively (GrF 8-9). As regards the dating of these copies it should be noted that Greville was not knighted until 1603 (his father was knighted in 1565). Six other poems are attributed to Greville in Grosart (II, 131-47), but without any evidence except for the poem ‘Away with these self-louing Lads’ (II, 137-9), which he failed to notice is Sonnet lii of Caelica (GrF 4).

A prose work entitled The Five Yeares of King James which was published under Greville's name in 1643 was rejected from the canon in Grosart (I, xiii-xiv), and also in an article by him in N&Q, 4th Ser. 2 (21 November 1868), 489-90. He was almost certainly justified in doing so, but a few manuscript copies of the work are recorded below for the record (GrF 14.2-14.8).

Letters and Documents

A large number of original letters of Greville and other documents containing his handwriting, generated largely by his official activities, are preserved in the British Library; the National Archives, Kew; the Bodleian (including over 600 documents signed by Greville, as Lord Chancellor, among the Herrick Papers: MSS Eng. hist. c. 1292-1307); the Warwickshire County Record Office; Hatfield House; Lambeth Palace (Talbot Papers); the Folger; Free Library of Philadelphia; Princeton; Yale, and no doubt elsewhere. A useful list of manuscript materials used by one biographer appears in Ronald A. Rebholz, The Life of Fulke Greville, First Lord Brooke (Oxford, 1971), pp. 353-5. A few relevant documents are also cited in Grosart. Facsimiles of letters in Greville's often scarcely legible cursive hand appear in Greg, English Literary Autographs, Plate XLIII (his example b, however, is the hand of Greville's father: see iii. 1932. addenda); in Sotheby's sale catalogue for 4 July 1955, Lot 790 (one of six letters to Richard Bagot, now at Princeton); and (a letter in which Greville admits to the illegibility of his hand) in IELM, I.ii (1980), Facsimile XVI (p. 105). Facsimile examples of letters in the hand of one of his scribes appear in British Museum Quarterly, 34 (1969-70), Plate XXVI; a letter of 10 March 1599/1600 in the hand of a scribe and signed by Greville is reproduced in Sir Henry James, Facsimiles of National Manuscripts from William the Conqueror to Queen Anne, 4 vols (Southampton, 1865-8), III, Plate XCIII; and the two documents signed by him in 1573 and 1616, formerly in the Hyde Collection, are reproduced in the printed catalogue of the R.B. Adam Library (1929), III, facing p. 221 and after p. 11.

For a printed exemplum of Bandello's works with the schoolboy scribblings of both Greville and Sidney, see *SiP 221. Features of Greville's appalling handwriting are discussed in Bullough, I, 29-30, and in Croft, Autograph Poetry, I, 15.

Printed Works Annotated by Early Readers

A notable printed exempum of Certaine Learned and Elegant Workes (London, 1633) with manuscript notes on pp. 158 by its editor, Sir Kenelm Digby, is recorded below (GrF 32). There is also an exemplum copiously annotated by Charles, second Baron Stanhope of Harrington (1593-1675), now in the Folger (STC 12361 Copy 4). This is recorded in G.P.V. Akrigg, ‘The Curious Marginalia of Charles. Second Lord Stanhope’, in Joseph Quincy Adams Memorial Studies, ed. James G. McManaway, Giles E. Dawson, and Edwin E. Willoughby (Washington, DC, 1948), pp. 785-801. For Katherine Philips's exemplum of the work, see *PsK 590.

Peter Beal