Thomas Nashe



The Works of Thomas Nashe, ed. Ronald B. McKerrow, 5 vols (Oxford, 1904-10; reprinted, revised by F.P. Wilson, 1958).


Autograph Manuscripts and Inscriptions

Thomas Nashe was a prolific author, whose writings were largely confined to print. There are only four known examples of his handwriting. One is his autograph undergraduate verses on Ecclesiasticus (*NaT 7). Another is his annotations, including quotations from Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, in a printed exemplum of Leland's Principium (MrC 20). A third is a signature formally inscribed also when he was an undergraduate at Cambridge (*NaT 20), and a fourth is the single known letter by him, to William Cotton (*NaT 19.


Only three poems generally attributed to Nashe appear to have enjoyed any notable circulation in manuscript. One is his erotic verses The choise of valentines, sometimes cited as Nashe his Dildo, the surviving texts of which (NaT 1-6) must be only a tiny portion of the copies that once existed. The second is his lyrical verses If flouds of teares could clense my follies past which were appended to the 1591 edition of Sidney's Astrophel and Stella (NaT 8-17). A third is the song Monsieur Mingo for quaffing doth surpass (NaT 7.1-7.9), which is better known for its use as Silence's song Do me right in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II, V.iii.72-4.

For a previously unknown poem on Nashe by Ben Jonson, discovered among the muniments of Berkeley Castle, see JnB 0.5. For yet another notable document in the same muniment — a letter by Sir George Carey, 17 November 1593, showing his support for Nashe while he was in trouble for the publication of his Christs Teares ouer Ierusalem (1593) — see Katherine Duncan-Jones, ‘Christs Teares, Nashe's “Forsaken Extremities”’, Review of English Studies, NS 49 (May 1998), 167-80.

Nashe v. Harvey

For the celebrated quarrel between Nashe and Gabriel Harvey, see McKerrow, V, 65-110.

Peter Beal