Gabriel Harvey Criticism - Essay

Henry Morley (essay date 1871)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Morley, Henry. “Gabriel Harvey.” In Clement Marot and Other Studies, Vol. 1, pp. 229-47. Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1970.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1871, Morley provides an overview of Harvey's life, character, and career.]

When, in 1579, their old comrade at Pembroke Hall, Edward Kirke, prefixed to Spenser's first venture in verse, The Shepheardes' Calender, a letter to Gabriel Harvey, as its unnamed author's “special friend and fellow-poet,” he only told in prose what is shown by the Calender itself, where Harvey is enshrined as Spenser's Hobbinol. The difference is great between this Hobbinol as we may see him if we care...

(The entire section is 4925 words.)

Alexander B. Grosart (essay date 1884)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Grosart, Alexander B. “Memorial-Introduction.” In The Works of Gabriel Harvey, D. C. L., edited by Alexander B. Grosart, pp. ix-l. New York: AMS Press, 1966.

[In the following excerpt, originally published in 1884 for private circulation, Grosart provides an extremely unflattering assessment of Harvey and his works, calling his efforts little more than curiosities of literature that are interesting only for the glimpses they provide into the Elizabethan period and for the background they offer on the writings of Thomas Nashe.]

In his Preface to the Letter-Book of Gabriel Harvey, a.d. 1573-80 (Camden Society, 1884), Mr. E. J. Long Scott, M.A.,...

(The entire section is 4247 words.)

G. C. Moore Smith (essay date 1913)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Moore Smith, G. C. Introduction to Gabriel Harvey's Marginalia, edited by G. C. Moore Smith, pp. 1-76. Stratford-upon-Avon: Shakespeare Head Press, 1913.

[In the following excerpt, Moore Smith discusses Harvey's marginalia, his “war” with Thomas Nashe, and his career after the controversy.]

Harvey's marginalia give us just what we should like to have in the case of his greater contemporaries, Spenser and Marlowe and Shakespeare. They add, it is true, only a few small details to the known facts of his life; but they throw a flood of light on the books he read, and on the thoughts he cherished in secret. When they are before us we can indeed say with Dr. E....

(The entire section is 9033 words.)

H. S. Wilson (essay date 1945)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Wilson, H. S. “Gabriel Harvey's Orations on Rhetoric.” ELH 12, no. 3 (September 1945): 167-82.

[In the following essay, Wilson offers a comparative analysis of two lectures by Harvey, Rhetor and Ciceronianus, and judges them “fine examples of polished Renaissance Latinity that compare favorably with the best Latin orations published on the continent.”]


Gabriel Harvey's three Latin orations on rhetoric, published by the well-known London printer, Henry Bynneman, in 1577 under the titles of Ciceronianus and Rhetor, afford one of the most significant clues to the rhetorical ideas and practices of the...

(The entire section is 5628 words.)

Harold S. Wilson (essay date 1945)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Wilson, Harold S. Introduction to Gabriel Harvey's Ciceronianus, translated by Clarence A. Forbes, pp. 1-34. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska, 1945.

[In the following essay, Wilson examines Harvey's Ciceronianus, describing its composition, context, contents, purpose, and style.]


Though Gabriel Harvey was not, like the poet,

A creature quite too bright and good
To be so much misunderstood,(1)

posterity has, on the whole, dealt rather harshly with him. An unwilling participant in a spectacular and amusing but highly undignified flyting with the brilliant Elizabethan journalist, Thomas Nashe,...

(The entire section is 14190 words.)

Warren B. Austin (essay date 1946)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Austin, Warren B. “Gabriel Harvey's ‘Lost’ Ode on Ramus.” Modern Language Notes 61, no. 4 (April 1946): 242-47.

[In the following essay, Austin examines Harvey's Ode Natalita, a Latin ode to Peter Ramus, and contends that this shows Harvey to be an early, enthusiastic disciple of the French philosopher.]

With the appearance of his Ode Natalitia early in 1575, Gabriel Harvey became the first Englishman to publish a work on the French humanist, philosopher, and educational reformer, Peter Ramus (Pierre de la Ramée).1

This ode in commemoration of Ramus and in praise of his system has hitherto been known only...

(The entire section is 2241 words.)

Eleanor Relle (essay date 1972)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Relle, Eleanor. “Some New Marginalia and Poems of Gabriel Harvey.” Review of English Studies 23, no. 92 (November 1972): 401-16.

[In the following essay, Relle presents an account of the marginalia in three works owned by Harvey and maintains that they shed light on the writers and books Harvey was reading, his reading habits, and his personal life and beliefs.]

At the beginning of a volume in the Old Library of Magdalene College, Cambridge1 (shelf-mark Lect 26), there are three items containing the signature and manuscript notes of Gabriel Harvey. The three are to some extent connected by subject-matter and authorship, and some of Harvey's...

(The entire section is 6924 words.)

J. J. M. Tobin (essay date 1985)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Tobin, J. J. M. “Gabriel Harvey: ‘Excellent Matter of Emulation.’” Hamlet Studies 7, nos. 1-2 (summer-winter 1985): 94-100.

[In the following essay, Tobin argues that Shakespeare's Hamlet contains references to Harvey's A New Letter of Notable Contents and Pierce's Supererogation.]

Gabriel Harvey, though clearly one of the wiser sort in his admiration for Hamlet,1 was the luckless victim of Thomas Nashe's lampooning power in their celebrated pamphlet war. Shakespeare was a close student of their conflict and incorporated a considerable amount of material from Nashe's side of the conflict into the texture of a great many...

(The entire section is 3094 words.)

Anthony Grafton (essay date 1988)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Grafton, Anthony. “‘Discitur ut agatur’: How Gabriel Harvey Read His Livy.1” In Annotation and Its Texts, edited by Stephen A. Barney, pp. 108-29. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

[In the following essay, originally presented at a symposium in 1988, Grafton examines the evidence of Harvey's critical reading as found in his marginalia, observing the links between reading, eloquence, and power in the social order of Tudor England.]

How did they understand Livy my grandfather my great grandfather—2

Zbigniew Herbert's question provokes and puzzles the historian of early modern...

(The entire section is 8057 words.)

Anthony T. Grafton (essay date 1990)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Grafton, Anthony T. “Gabriel Harvey's Marginalia: New Light on the Cultural History of Elizabethan England.” Princeton University Library Chronicle 52, no. 1 (autumn 1990): 21-4.

[In the following essay, Grafton argues that Harvey's handwritten commentaries offer insights into his life, the texts he read, and the history of Elizabethan England.]

In David Lodge's novel Changing Places, the frustrated Rummidge don Philip Sparrow dreams of publishing his collected examination questions. Edmund Spenser's learned and frustrated friend Gabriel Harvey may well have dreamed of publishing his collected marginal notes. His long and combative literary career...

(The entire section is 861 words.)

Kirsty Cochrane (essay date 1992)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Cochrane, Kirsty. “A Civil Conversation of 1582: Gabriel Harvey's Reading of Guazzo.” AUMLA: Journal of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association 78 (November 1992): 1-28.

[In the following essay, Cochrane discusses Harvey's response to Stefano Guazzo's A Civil Conversation, a Renaissance work of moral philosophy, and argues that Harvey considered the work an ideal text for life in the civil service and hoped to use it to achieve his own social success.]

Gabriel Harvey (c.1546-1631), Professor of Rhetoric in Cambridge in 1575, friend of Spenser and Gascoigne, enemy of Nashe, Greene and Lyly, object of satire, industrious...

(The entire section is 10310 words.)

Jon A. Quitslund (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Quitslund, Jon A. “Questionable Evidence in the Letters of 1580 between Gabriel Harvey and Edmund Spenser.” In Spenser's Life and the Subject of Biography, edited by Judith H. Anderson, Donald Cheney, and David A. Richardson, pp. 81-98. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996.

[In the following essay, Quitslund examines the five letters between Spenser and Harvey that were published in 1580 and questions the trustworthiness of these documents as evidence about Spenser's personal life.]

Scholars interested in the private life of Spenser, in the public career that was the context for his pursuit of fame, and in the friendships and other...

(The entire section is 9658 words.)

Kendrick W. Prewitt (essay date 1999)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Prewitt, Kendrick W. “Gabriel Harvey and the Practice of Method.” SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 39, no. 1 (winter 1999): 19-39.

[In the following essay, Prewitt explores Harvey's commitment to his pragmatic “Method,” based on the philosophy of Peter Ramus, despite its controversial nature and his fear that it was a liability.]

One of Gabriel Harvey's first published writings as a young scholar was the Ode Natalitia, a 1574 elegy for the French Protestant martyr and controversial logician Pierre de la Ramée (Peter Ramus). In this elegy, “Method” serves as “a heavenly virgin who directs the goddesses of the Arts” (grammar,...

(The entire section is 9414 words.)