1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Gabriel Harvey

William Beloe, in Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books 2 (1807) 196-97.



Next to the miserable and wretched Greene, I do not know who can follow with greater propriety than the man who knew him well, and who, perhaps, not altogether undeservedly, was, from principle, his determined and implacable adversary.

The contests, squibs and pamphlets, between Nash and Greene and Harvey, at one time occupied no small share of public attention and curiosity. They proceeded finally to such extremities that the arm of power interfered, and they were seized and prohibited.

The following Tract [Four Letters and Certaine Sonnets] is particularly deserving attention. It throws light upon many passing circumstances and prevailing manners of our ancestors; it illustrates more or less of the popular writers and productions of the time; and it is often and particularly referred to by the critics and commentators, who have undertaken to explain and investigate the state of English Literature in the reign of Elizabeth and her immediate successor.

Of this writer, so well known in his time, the author of many, respectable works, and of no inferior accomplishments in learning or talents, very imperfect accounts are to be found in any of our biographical compilations. He certainly deserves a place among the national records of his countrymen.