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Elizabethan FictionsEspionage, Counter-espionage, and the Duplicity of Fiction in Early Elizabethan Prose Narratives$
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R. W. Maslen

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198119913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119913.001.0001

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Fictions and their Commentaries before 1570

Fictions and their Commentaries before 1570

(p.68) 2 Fictions and their Commentaries before 1570
Elizabethan Fictions

R. W. Maslen

Oxford University Press

The second chapter considers the impact on Elizabethan fiction of the story-collections of William Painter, Geoffrey Fenton, and the little-known fabulists who worked alongside them. By the 1560s, the animal fable was a relatively domesticated genre: classical precedent and a long fabular tradition in English had effectively drawn its teeth. Continental prose fiction, on the other hand, was wild. Its early translators handled it as if it were an expensive and highly dangerous exotic beast which needed to be kept at bay with every editorial control at their disposal. The 1560s brought two major shipments: William Painter's The Palace of Pleasure, which appeared in two volumes in 1566 and 1567, and Geoffrey Fenton's menagerie of Franco–Italian romantic thrillers, the Tragicall Discourses of 1567.

Keywords:   William Painter, Geoffrey Fenton, animal fables, fabulists, The Palace of Pleasures, Tragicall Discourses

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