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The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works

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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  326 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Thomas Nashe, a contemporary of Shakespeare, was writing in the 1590s, the zenith of the English Renaissance. Rebellious in spirit, conservative in philosophy, Nashe's brilliant and comic invective earned him a reputation as the 'English Juvenal' who 'carried the deadly stockado in his pen.' In its mingling of the devout and the bawdy, scholarship and slang, its brutality ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published May 30th 1972 by Penguin Classics (first published 1620)
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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenA Room with a View by E.M. ForsterWinnie-the-Pooh by A.A. MilneA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Cambridge University
56th out of 223 books — 35 voters
Shakespeare's Sonnets by William ShakespeareRichard II by William ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice by William ShakespeareThe Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser
Sixteenth Century (Renaissance) List
12th out of 52 books — 20 voters


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Community Reviews

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Buck
Thomas Nashe wrote no masterpieces. In the big leagues of English literature, he's a utility player among steroidal superstars. As a scrounging Elizabethan journalist, he turned out a few pamphlets, some pornographic verse, a novel and a play, before dying, in obscure circumstances, at thirty-four or so. Although he continues to hover around the fringes of the canon, almost nobody reads him but the odd scholar, and that's as it should be, I think.

And yet, sentence for sentence, Nashe is one of
...more
Yrinsyde
It took me awhile to read as it was part of a collection of works and I read the entire book. I really enjoyed it and I'm glad that I joined the 1001 Books challenge as otherwise, I wouldn't have discovered this author. I enjoyed reading him - he was great at characterisation and you can see where Dickens was influenced. The Unfortunate Traveller itself is full of violence, but it is very much removed from our contemporary life so it doesn't jar too much. There are a lot of laugh out loud moment ...more
Andrew
I am a reader in the 21st Century. Let's start with that.

This is a hard one to put a finger on... it's such an alien experience-- a 16th Century martial picaresque written by an Elizabethan convict. It has its funny bits (hey, what to do in Rome, pee on Pontius Pilate's house).

But I can't get into it. There's just so little for me to hook onto. I could "get" Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Browne without too much difficulty, but this is just not my world.
Book Wormy
The Unfortunate Traveller Thomas Nash
������

Said to be the first English novel this was written during the reign of Elizabeth the first and set in the reign of her father Henry VIII.

Our narrator is a soldier in Henry's army Jack Wilton, while the title suggest misfortune befalls him from my point of view he went out and caused much of his own misfortune by his thoughtless, careless and misadvised actions.

This would have been an interesting look into life in the reign of Henry VIII however I got
...more
Sara
Mar 19, 2011 Sara marked it as to-read
"In 1593 Nashe published Christ's Tears Over Jerusalem, a pamphlet dedicated to Lady Elizabeth Carey. Despite the work's apparently devotional nature it contained satirical material which gave offence to the London civic authorities and Nashe was briefly imprisoned in Newgate. The intervention of Lady Elizabeth's husband Sir George Carey gained his release." -- Wiki

"Nashe's defense of poetry leads him to the conclusion that the best art is the most obscure and idealized. He aspires to sound like
...more
Julianne Quaine
I found this a bit rambling and difficult to get into but enjoyed it in the end and glad I persevered. It is what is known in the literary genre as a picaresque novel, which has the characteristics of being autobiographical, with the protagonist being a low character who skirts on the edge of criminality, a description of a series of loosely connected events, told humorously and often with satire, which reflect the nature of society at the time. Little wonder I found it rambling! The book is the ...more
Neale
This Penguin collection introduced me to the woozy pleasures of that snag-toothed Elizabethan pamphleteer, Thomas Nashe. It modernises his spelling, which is probably just as well – Nashe’s style is knotty and extravagant enough on its own, without issues of orthography. It’s a good collection, with a useful introduction, and it probably contains as much Thomas Nashe as any sensible person would require in a lifetime. Probably too much for most.

‘The Unfortunate Traveller’ is, to my taste, the l
...more
Jg Paul
Quite a challenge--early modern prose is not for the faint of heart. But there are some remarkable passages in Nashe's text that reward patience. Move slowly through this, if you can, and it will reveal true treasures.

I simpered with my countenance like a porridge pot on the fire when it first begins to seethe.

His pen was sharp-pointed like a poniard; no leaf he wrote on but was like a burning-glass to set on fire all his readers.

Let me be a historiographer of my own misfortunes...

Unsearchable
...more
Deirdre
I find Nashe a fascinating figure. He was far more typical of professional writers of his day than Shakespeare. He was, and I don't mean this perjoratively, a jobbing writer who never made the big time but enjoyed just a short period in his life of secure patronage and did have some interesting connections. Unfortunately, much of his wit has dated and lost its sparkle and relevance to us in a very different age and he does tend to be prolix. But you can just glimpse what crackling and controvers ...more
Matt
Nashe is interesting in places, but not so much in others.
Lisa
I read this years ago at university.My copy is (*blush*) covered in neat pencil annotations indicating that I read it diligently, but alas, I remember it not at all. Some of my notes refer to the parodies and other comical aspects so I probably liked it, I'm giving it two stars.
Craig
Another crude, funny, and violent work from a crude, vicious, and violent time. Probably wouldn't make my top lists, but still pretty good.
Daniel
Dec 08, 2007 Daniel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This is the first picturesque novel, and style created by Thomas Nashe, and it influnnced writers from Daniel DeFoe all the way to James Joyce.
Dyani
Interesting and rambling. I didn't have enough time to read the whole of the Unfortunate Traveller, but I hope I can return to it at some point.
Emma
Antiquated Elizabethian language and a lack of internet guides prevent modern readers from being able to appreciate this text.
David
Lowlife from the very dawn of the modern era.
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Nov 22, 2014
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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: Or, the Life of Jack Wilton 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) Lenten Stuff

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