'The Thomas Nashe Project' is an ambitious project of scholarly editing, contracted by Oxford University Press: 6 volumes of all of Nashe's known writings, as well as dubia, with detailed annotation that takes account of advances in our understanding of the 16th century over the last 30 years; a new glossary that makes use of the e-search tools at our disposal; and extensive analysis and commentary.

In addition to the new edition 'The Thomas Nashe Project' will be holding events from 2017. These will include performances, public readings, and academic conferences. The project will also be making multi-media resources about Nashe available on this website.

The Edition

The edition will consist of six substantial volumes:

  • Vol. 1: Introduction and textual notes. The Anatomie of Absurditie (1589); Preface to 'Menaphon' (1589); Preface to 'Astrophil & Stella' (1591); Pierce Penilesse His Supplication to the Devil (1592)
  • Vol. 2: Strange Newes (1592); Christ's teares over Jerusalem (1593); The Terrors of the Night (1593); Dido, Queen of Carthage (1594)
  • Vol. 3: The Unfortunate Traveller (1594); The Choice of Valentine and other verse (nd); Letter to William Cotton (1596)
  • Vol. 4: Have With You to Saffron-Walden (1596); Nashe's Lenten Stuffe (1599); Summer's Last Will and Testament (1600)
  • Vol. 5: Dubia, the Anti-Martinist Works: Countercuffe (1589); Mar-Martine (1589), Martin's Month's Minde (1589); Returne of Pasquill (1589); Almond for a Parrat (1590); Pasquil's Apologie (1590)
  • Vol. 6: Commentary; glossary of Nashe neologisms; Index 


Who was Thomas Nashe?

Thomas Nashe (1567-c.1600) is one of the most ground-breaking writers of the English Renaissance. He established a new genre in English with his picaresque novel The Unfortunate Traveller (1594). He was a theatrical innovator, collaborating with Marlowe on Dido, Queen of Carthage in the early 1590s and later with Jonson on the scandalous lost play, The Isle of Dogs (1597), which led to all the theatres being closed for a season. He wrote shocking pornographic poetry that was read alongside the work of contemporary writers of erotic verse such as Marlowe, Donne, and Shakespeare. He was involved in the two formative controversies in the 1590s: the Marprelate Controversy (1588-89), a dispute that shaped subsequent pamphlet warfare, attitudes to print culture, and religious debate up to the Civil War, and a protracted quarrel with the humanist Gabriel Harvey which helped to define English prose style in the 17th century and later. This second vituperative quarrel was troubling enough to prompt the authorities to close down the printing presses involved and issue a life ban on writing to both participants in 1599. His use of the new technology of print to represent the spoken voice is one of the most 'modern' features of his writing, inspiring Marshall McLuhan's reflections on print and electronic media in the early 1960s.