Francis Oscar Mann (essay date 1912)
SOURCE: Introduction to The Works of Thomas Deloney, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1912, pp. vii–xxxi.
[In the excerpt below, Mann provides an overview of Deloney's career, calling attention to his straightforward style and his depiction of working-class men and women. The critic asserts that Deloney's prose fiction represents "the highest achievement of the Elizabethan novel."]
The recorded facts of Deloney's life are very scanty. His earliest venture appears to have been A Declaration made by the Archbishop of Cullen upon the Deede of his Mariage (1583), and Kempe in April, 1600, refers to him as having just died. Thus his working literary life lasted...
(The entire section is 3590 words.)