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The Unfortunate Traveller: Or, the Life of Jack Wilton
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The Unfortunate Traveller: Or, the Life of Jack Wilton

2.58 of 5 stars 2.58  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  18 reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published January 28th 2009 by BiblioLife (first published 1594)
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Bill  Kerwin

This narrative published in 1594 is sometimes listed as the first English novel, but it is surely not a "novel" in any formal sense of the word. An odd book, extremely loose in construction, it begins as a collection of prankish anecdotes, shifts into a picaresque account of continental travel (studded with the occasional casual satire and stylistic parody), and ends as a grim Italianate narrative fraught with rape, murder and revenge.

But the style, oh the style! Nashe is a master of English pro
Cameron Willis
Read for a class about early modern English literature. Professor felt it represented post-modern literature avant la lettre, I argued it represented pre-modern literature, before genre conventions and even the basics of the novel had been firmed up. Hilarity ensued. We later stared on stage together in a local production of Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing'.
Though short, this is a real eye opener as to life in those times. Violent, harsh, cruel, filthy, disgusting... and all told in loving detail by a man who travels about Europe. The language is a bit tough, I would suggest trying to read this with a group because reading it on your own is hard. The old english is almost phonetic in it's spelling and at times you almost have to read it aloud in order to figure out what it being said. Still, as difficult as it can be (especially if it's been 15 or ...more
This is the highlight of the Rogues' Bookshelf compiled about 80 years ago. It is the misadventures of Jack Wilton, a true and original rogue who traveled through England and the continent, meeting all sorts of interesting characters and getting into all kinds of mischief. The language can be a challenge, since it was written by Thomas Nashe in the 16th century, but it is a fun read nonetheless.
Ugh, early modern prose is not my favorite thing, and this early version of a picaresque novel is chaotic and tedious at the same time. I was most interested during the detailed descriptions of violence, not because I love reading graphic torture scenes, but because it was at those moments that the narrative slowed down enough for the reader to engage.
Oct 11, 2008 Roland rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anti-semites, torture aficionados
This is one of the most fucked-up books I've read recently. I haven't read torture scenes this lovingly depicted since "Naked Lunch." And this was June 27, 1593! The antisemitism of pretty idiotic, but this was the 1500's after all.
Malika Johnson
The Unfortunate Traveller did not appeal to me. The graphic violence and rape scenes were sickening, and most of the rest of the book dragged. I did appreciate some of the satirical social commentary, but all in all jack Wilton's unpleasant character and archaic language were too much for me. If I had a darker sense of humor I would have enjoyed it much more.
Comedy about a soldier who's only in the army for the looting and free beer. He's willing to go to any lengths to ensure an easy life for himself. He's a bit like Shakespeare's Falstaff.
Be warned there are several torture/execution scenes in this which are truly horrific and very much at odds with the generally comedic tone.
I read this because it was on Boxall's 1001 Books list, but the old english spelling was quite challenging. I had to sound out the words sometimes to figure out what Nashe was trying to say. It's has more violent scenes than I would think for such a short book. Overall just an ok read for me.
A proto-novel, certainly not quite a novel as we know it. Rather, this is more like a travelogue of one "Jack Wilton". Servant to an English earl who always seems to find (or to create) trouble. Kind of jumps all over the place (at least all over continental Europe), and the "story" doesn't have a common thread, other than the presence of Jack Wilton.

Short, but the older English makes for slow going. Also rather gory, but the stiff old writing makes the gore not seem as gory. If that makes sense
I really couldn't get into this book. The old english was enough to put me off, but I just wasn't grabbed by the story either. I tried to finish it, but didn't care enough to make the effort.

I know other people enjoyed it immensely, and it had some humourous sentences, but in the end it wasn't enough.

Not great, but not terrible either. The old English spelling is a little distracting from time to time but I was able to manage it pretty well. Very graphic violence and it drags terribly in the middle, but this is a quick read for a classic.
Harry Burnside
It was hard going at first until I got used to the interesting spelling of the sixteenth century but I soon got used to it. Interesting story, gory at times and also gave food for thought on morality.
Thomas Nashe's 14th-century prose is so incredibly dense that I had a difficult time figuring out what was actually going on half the time. This book was more of a chore than an enjoyable read.
Ahmad Sharabiani
993. The Unfortunate Traveller, Thomas Nashe
نخستین نمونه ی انگلیسی از رمانهای «رندنامه» که طرحی هیجان انگیز دارد، «مسافر بدشانس» (1594) نوشته ی توماس نش است
Not the easiest read in the world due to middle English writing but an excellent view into the mindset of 15th century people.
Gabriel Surpanu
It was a difficult book to read, but it had few interesting rows.
Well, that escalated quickly.
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Thomas Nashe (November 1567 – c. 1601) was an English Elizabethan pamphleteer, playwright, poet and satirist.
More about Thomas Nashe...
The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works The Terrors of the Night The Choise of Valentines, Or, the Merie Ballad of Nash His Dildo Pierce Penniless, His Supplications to the Divell 1592 The Works of Thomas Nashe (1908)

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“Grosse plodders they were all, that had some learning and reading, but no wit to make use of it.” 3 likes
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