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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Throughout his life, Shakespeare was undoubtedly a voracious reader, and in his early London days, he must have spent a good deal of his time in the city’s many bookshops. There, short of either coin or credit, he would have been able to browse the latest publications and keep abreast of the hottest sellers. Taking the early 1590s book market as its point of origin, this chapter tracks the impact of new and popular fiction like Nashe’s Pierce Penniless, Greene’s coney-catching pamphlets, and Greene’s runaway bestseller A Quip for an Upstart Courtier on The Comedy of Errors and The Taming of the Shrew. Concerned with substantive allusions along with shared themes, language, and characterization, it pays particular attention to moments of ‘encounter’ when these comedies engage deliberately with these ubiquitous titles.

Keywords: print culture, city, coney-catching, early modern crime, grotesque improvisation, knavery, satire, generic transformation

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