1876 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Barnfield

Robert Carruthers, in Chambers's Cyclopaedia of English Literature, 3rd ed. (1876; 1879) 1:210-11.



RICHARD BARNFIELD (born about 1570) resembled Lodge in the character of his writings and in the smoothness and elegance of his verse. He was also a graduate of Oxford. His works are — "Cynthia, with Certain Sonnets," and the "Legend of Cassandra," (1595); the "Affectionate Shepherd," &c. (1596); the "Encomium of Lady Pecunia" (1598) &c. But Barnfield is chiefly known from the circumstance, that some of his pieces were ascribed to Shakspeare, in a volume entitled "The Passionate Pilgrim, by W. Shakspeare" (1599). The use of Shakspeare's name was a trick of the bookseller. The small volume contains two of Shakspeare's Sonnets, some verses taken from his "Love's Labour's Lost" (published the year before) some pieces known to be by Marlowe and Raleigh, and others taken from Barnfield's "Encomium of Lady Pecunia."