Henry Chettle Criticism - Essay

Shakespeare Newsletter (essay date December 1970)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “Chettle's Forgery of the Groatsworth of Wit and the ‘Shake-scene’ Passage.” Shakespeare Newsletter 20, no. 6 (December 1970): 42.

[In the following essay, the anonymous critic analyzes the evidence that Greene's Groatsworth of Wit is a forgery perpetrated by Chettle.]

Last April 1969 what may turn out to be one of the three most significant contributions to Shakespearean scholarship in this century was published as Final Report: Project No. 7-0-036: Grant No. OEG-1-7-070036-4593 (U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education, Bureau of Research, April, 1969) A Computer-Aided Technique for Stylistic...

(The entire section is 1530 words.)

Warren B. Austin (essay date December 1970)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Austin, Warren B. “Technique of the Chettle-Greene Forgery: Supplementary Material on the Authorship of the Groatsworth of Wit.Shakespeare Newsletter 20, no. 6 (December 1970): 43.

[In the following essay, Austin offers linguistic evidence for the hypothesis that Chettle forged Greene's Groatsworth of Wit.]

Since completing the computer-aided linguistic analysis, I have succeeded in reconstructing Chettle's procedure in fabricating the Groatsworth of Wit. For the most part, he used Greene's genuine books of the same genre (prodigal son tales), patterning his forgery on episodes and passages in Greene's Mourning Garment, Never Too...

(The entire section is 727 words.)

John Jowett (essay date December 1993)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Jowett, John. “Johannes Factotum: Henry Chettle and Greene's Groatsworth of Wit.Papers of the Bibliographic Society of America 87, no. 4 (December 1993): 453-86.

[In the following essay, Jowett examines the evidence for the claim that Chettle authored Greene's Groatsworth of Wit before establishing a context for his authorship and confronting those critics who reject the idea that he forged the work.]

Greene's Groatsworth of Wit and The Repentance of Robert Greene, both published shortly after Robert Greene's death in 1592, are two of the most important autobiographical and literary records of the period.1 The...

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John Jowett (essay date August 1994)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Jowett, John. “Notes on Henry Chettle.” Review of English Studies 45, no. 179 (August 1994): 384-88.

[In the following essay, Jowett collates and consolidates critical work done on Chettle after 1934 to present a sketch of the man and his work, discussing his early writings, his relationship with John Danter, his authorship of Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, and his attack on bawdy ballads.]

It is now sixty years since Harold Jenkins published his Life and Work of Henry Chettle (1934), which remains the standard biography and an indispensable tool for students of Chettle. These notes are designed to collate, consolidate, and develop such...

(The entire section is 2156 words.)

John Jowett (essay date November 1994)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Jowett, John. “Notes on Henry Chettle (Concluded).” Review of English Studies 45, no. 180 (November 1994): 517-22.

[In the following essay, Jowett discusses Chettle's contribution to the play Sir Thomas More, his involvement in Romeo and Juliet, the plays he wrote in collaboration with others, his work on The Tragedy of Hoffman, his debts, and his death.]


Chettle has confidently been identified as one of the revisers of the manuscript play Sir Thomas More. Tannenbaum's identification of the handwriting of so-called Hand A as that of Chettle has found general...

(The entire section is 2389 words.)

Jeffrey Kahan (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Kahan, Jeffrey. “Henry Chettle and the Unreliable Romeo: A Reassessment.” Upstart Crow 16 (1996): 92-100.

[In the following essay, Kahan disputes the claim made by other scholars that Chettle was the editor of the 1597 edition of Romeo and Juliet.]

According to Gary Taylor, the ultimate aim of a Shakespeare editor is the identification of “the nature or function of a lost manuscript which served as the printer's copy for an extant edition.”1 These extant editions range from reliable to very unreliable quartos, generally graded as either good or bad. In terms of those “stolne, and surrepititious copies,” the scholar's task is...

(The entire section is 3640 words.)

Mark Thornton Burnett (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Burnett, Mark Thornton. “Henry Chettle's Piers Plainness: Seven Years' Prenticeship: Contexts and Consumers.” In Framing Elizabethan Fictions: Contemporary Approaches to Early Modern Narrative Prose, edited by Constance C. Relihan, pp. 169-86. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1996.

[In the following essay, Burnett offers a detailed reading of Piers Plainness' Seven Years' Apprenticeship, arguing that the work has a densely allusive design, explores important topical questions about master-servant relations, and should be read in relation to an Elizabethan apprentice culture.]

For a variety of reasons, Henry Chettle's picaresque tale,...

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Lukas Erne (essay date September 1998)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Erne, Lukas. “Biography and Mythography: Rereading Chettle's Alleged Apology to Shakespeare.” English Studies 79, no. 5 (September 1998): 430-40.

[In the following essay, Erne denies claims that Chettle apologized to Shakespeare for Greene's attacks.]

Our image of Shakespeare at the beginning of his dramatic career in London is strongly shaped by the oft-quoted passages from Greene's Groatsworth of Wit (1592, entered in the Stationers' Register on 20 September 1592) and Chettle's ‘Epistle dedicatory’ prefacing his Kind-Harts Dreame (no date, Stationers' Register: 8 December 1592). Their importance can hardly be overstated. The former...

(The entire section is 5474 words.)