Greene, Robert

(?1558-1592)
   Born in Norwich, Norfolk (the date is disputed), he had degrees from both Cambridge (1575) and from Oxford (1588). He lived a dissolute life in London and deserted his wife and children. He lived in poverty and legend has it that he died after a dinner of pickled herrings and Rhenish wine, but it was more likely plague. He was buried in the New Churchyard near Bethlehem Hospital, London. He was a prominent prolific writer, renowned for his prose romances and dramas, and was one of the first professional writers and among the earliest English autobiographers. Many books were published in his name after his death. The best of his pastorals is Pandosto (1588), the direct source of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. Among his dramatic works are The Scottish Historie of James the Fourth (c. 1591) and A Looking Glasse for London and England (1588-1589).
   Some of his poems: "Against Enticing Cvrtizans," "Philomelaes Second Oade," "Philomelas Ode That Shee Svng in Her Arbovr," "Radagons Sonnet," "The Description of the Shepheard and His Wife," "The Hermites Exordivm," "The Shepheards Wives Song," "Verses Vnder a Pictvre of Fortvne."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The New Oxford Book of Sixteenth Century Verse. Emrys Jones, ed. Oxford University Press, 1991. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Poetry of Robert Greene. Tetsumaro Hayashi, ed. Ball State University, 1977.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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