1886 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Dekker

Alexander B. Grosart, in Non-Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker (1886) 5:ix.



More than ordinarily tantalizing and disappointing has been the outcome of prolonged and earnest search in all likely sources and by all likely helpers for light on the long-dimmed story of Thomas Dekker. It is no new experience to such Worker as myself in Elizabethan-Jacobean literary-biographical fields. None the less it is trying to find one who demonstrably was in many men's mouths, and was noticeably and continuously a popular writer, so utterly overlooked by those from whom loving memories might have been counted on: e.g., associated intimately as he was with the Playwrights of his period, from Ben Jonson to Massinger and Ford, and George Wilkins, it seems inexplicable that not one of all their superabundant productions yields a single distinct personal reference.