A Re-reading of Greene’s Groatsworth
Robert Greene the playwright was a fascinating and colorful individual who penned a pamphlet called Greene’s Groats-Worth of Wit, bought with million of Repentance. Greene died on September 3, 1592, soon after writing the infamous diatribe. The notorious pamphlet was then registered at the Stationer’s Register to William Wright on September 20, 1592.
For years this writing has plagued scholars. It is a literary puzzle that begs solving, its pieces put in place to give it meaning and order. What was Greene really alluding to in his last pamphlet and who was Greene addressing?
In the spirit of revisionsist history, the context and social mileu of Greene’s writing must be examined. Because Greene was going to die he took certain liberties. He knew he could tell the truth and wouldn’t be censored or libeled against. Greene wrote the pamphlet in the spirit of honesty and remorse peppered with his characteristic punning wit. That is why he states it his “groats-worth” of wit. He wasn’t getting paid to write it. He was just giving his two cents, so to speak. His fellow playwrights knew him well, would read between the lines and could easily tell it was the true Greene. That is why he says it is bought “with a million repentance.” There is a tangible feeling of regret of how he has lived his life within the piece. Now that he is going to die he feels extremely remorseful and would like his three friends to know of some secrets that have been burdening him. Therefore Greene, the true author of the pamphlet, was warning and admonishing three fellow playwrights of various situations and personages. The writer he advises at length and most critically and specifically is fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe. He is warning Marlowe about Amelia Lanier and the Earl of Oxford.
Amelia Lanier first enters the stage of Shakespearean studies when A.L. Rowse discovers her in Simon Forman’s diaries. He believes she is the dark lady of the sonnets. References to Amelia are also peppered throughout the plays: Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, is a reference to Emilia’s maiden name, Bassano; there is an Emilia in The Winter’s Tale; Ophelia in Hamlet Prince of Denmark is most likely a mix of both Amelia and her daughter’s name, Odillya, who died in infancy, and there is another Emilia in Othello. In an age where fair complexion reigned supreme, Shakespeare often parodied on this women’s beautiful, yet what he felt, treacherous, beauty and allusions to a light and dark morality within the person. Lanyer may have even addressed this issue in her poem, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum:
For greatest perills do attend the faire,
What men do seeke, attempt, plot and devise,
How they may overthrow the chastest Dame,
Whose Beautie is the White whereat they aime. 
Lanier was a highly educated woman. A woman who had her own thoughts and opinions and wrote a volume of poems which reflected this. In an age where there were only a handful of women who were as educated as she, such as Mary Sidney Herbert and Queen Elizabeth, she and Christopher Marlowe would stand as equals. They also would have been equals also in caste and class. Studies show that couples look for mates that are equal in intelligence, among many other similar variables, when looking for a long term mate.  Lanier and Marlowe would have made a perfect match in class caste conscious Elizabethan England. They both came from similar, working class backgrounds, Lanier from a family of Italian musicians and Marlowe whose father was a Canterbury cobbler.
In such a small circle of available, attractive partners, it would have been reasonably easy to find each other. In a world where less than seventy percent of men and more than ninety percent of women were unable even to sign their names, an educated and highly literate woman such as Lanier would have been hard to miss. She represented an extremely small minority of women who could not only read but could also write.
Lanier was involved in the rarefied world of the court via Lord Hunsdon. In a world that did not offer many opportunities for female advancement, she had decided to become his mistress to elevate her station in life. Lanier’s life also revolved around a court of Italian musicians, who Queen Elizabeth had inherited from her father, King Henry VIII. Lord Hunsdon, as Lord Chamberlain since 1585, would have been involved in entertainments for the court and Marlowe and Lanier would have easily crossed paths through these undertakings. Lord Hunsdon would have been involved in orchestrating musical and theatrical entertainments for the court.
In Groatsworth, Christopher Marlowe is identified as Lucanio. The character of Lucanio is a direct reference to Lucan, the Roman poet who Marlowe had translated from the Latin. Robert Greene, as the character of Roberto tells us that Lucanio “having on his holiday hose trickt himselfe up” and went directly to see Lamilia who lived in the suburbs of London. Greene refers to her as a “curtizan,” and Amelia was of course the courtesan of Lord Admiral Hunsdon. Greene tells us she has a delicious singing voice as she sings a sonnet for Lucanio and Roberto. We know she came from a family of Italian musicians. The sonnet states that: “Faire virgins learne by me, To Count love a toy,” and echos Machevill’s “religion but a toy” sentiment in Marlowe’s Jew of Malta. Greene is alluding to Lanier using love as a toy to get what she wants. He is warning Marlowe that she will use him and his affections for her own selfish purposes.
Like Eve of Biblical fame, Amelia is attributed with basic female wickedness. Greene attributes feminine wiles as a sort of devilry which women are capable of to bewitch men. It is telling that within his rules to follow at the end of his Groatsworth, particularily numbers three and four of his rules, what his overall views of women are. Rules three and four state: 3. If thou be single, and canst abstaine, turne they eies from vanitie; for there is a kinde of women bearing the faces of Angels, but the hearts of Deuils, able to intrap the elect if it were possible. 4. If thou be married, forsake not the wife of they youth to follow strange flesh; for whoremongers and adulterers the Lord will judge. The doore of a harlot leadeth down to death, and in her lips there dwels destruction; her face is decked with odors, be shee brigeth a man to a morsel of bread and nakedness: of which myselfe am instance.
Why he is judgemental of Lanier is difficult to discern. From what we know of her life she tried to make the best of her situation as an intelligent woman who had few choices available to her. She managed later on to write a volume of poetry and actually get it published, which was virtually unheard of in her day. She also had the gumption to start her own school in order to provide for herself and her grandchildren. Greene may have been jealous of Marlowe and Laniers’s relationship. He left his wife and child, abandoned all of his family responsibilities, in order to live the life of a debauched poet living on the edges of society, someone who was very familiar with the Elizabethan underworld. If he could take it all back he would, for he wrote a very apologetic letter to his wife at the end of his Groatsworth.
Unfortunately for Marlowe, not only did he have to contend with the jealousy and misplaced guidance of his fellow playwrights, but there was a person in court that would have also liked to see his downfall. He was a high ranking courtier who had wealth and influence and could orchestrate behind the scenes intrigues to plot his demise. Highly narcissistic with sociopathic tendencies, Edward de Vere was this man.
To say the least the earl had many psychologically issues. He was very disturbed and not a man to trifle with. From what can be gleaned from the historical record the earl probably had a cluster B personality disorder. Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, emotional, and/or erratic behavior. Edward de Vere exhibited the types of behavior exhibited by people affected by these types of personality disorders.
According to the bible of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, personality disordered individuals are very inflexible in regards to the traits of their particular disorder. They don’t easily change. This is why the earl retained these characteristics throughout his lifetime. Singular odd man. A monstrous adversary. These are the descriptions by the earl’s contemporaries used to describe his personality and behavior.
The Earl of Oxford was a dangerous man. Edward de Vere could wait until it was time to strike an enemy. Apparently making profession of the Catholic faith with Lord Henry Howard, Charles Arundel, and Francis Southwell, the Earl of Oxford decided to turn on them by informing Queen Elizabeth they were Catholic sympathizers, while he himself pretended to crave forgiveness from the queen because he felt what he had done was wrong. Even though his own religious ideas and behavior were highly questionable, he played the religious trump card to plot his enemy’s demise. Ironically, he was accused of the same type of rhetoric that Christopher Marlowe was right before his strange murder in Deptford. The accusatory statements against the earl included that the Bible was used only to hold men in obeisance, the Trinity was an old wives tale, and that the Blessed Virgin was a whore. These were the very words that would brand you as an atheist in Elizabethan England. Words that could often get you killed.
Edward de Vere also used people in his manipulations to get back at others, such as he did with his father-in-law, William Cecil, Lord Burghley. De Vere was extremely resentful of Cecil and hated the fact that he was under his wardship. The earl married Cecil’s daughter, Anne, in order to use her in his intrigues. She was basically held hostage in a supremely hostile and dysfunctional marriage. Many of those in court knew of the earl’s evil machinations regarding his wife and how he used others. As the Countess of Suffolk related to Lord Burghley when speaking to the earl’s sister, “I told her her brother used you and your daughter so evil that I could not require you to deal in it.” Mary de Vere, Edward’s sister, was engaged to the Countess of Suffolk’s son, an engagement of which she strongly disapproved. Mary de Vere wanted the Countess of Suffolk to ask Lord Burghley to approach the queen on her behalf in regards to the proposed marriage. Apparently the countess was worried that psychological dysfunction could prove to be a family affair.
What we have left of Greene’s Groatsworth we must take with a grain of salt. It is an unfinished dish that has been severely altered from its original recipe. It has been conjectured that Henry Chettle tampered with the pamphlet when certain writers took offence to the work. Chettle even alludes to this when speaking of the writer who was unhappy with the work, surely the Earl of Oxford, for the writing hit to close to the bone.
For the first, whose learning I reverence, and at the perusing of Greenes Booke, stroke out what then in conscience I thought he in some displeasure writ: or had it beene true, yet to publish it, was intolerable: him I would wish to use me no worse than I deserve.
Chettle does not want Greene to use him any worse than he deserves. Why should he bother to print something and then get in trouble, especially with the Earl of Oxford? Chettle wants to distance himself from Greene, and probably the gossip about Marlowe that was going on at the time with the coining incident in Flushing he was involved in at the end of January 1591.
Unfortunately Marlowe had also attracted a great deal of jealously and hatred for being a successful playwright. A playwright who had literally rewrote history by stomping his mighty line upon the stage. He was a playwright who had tapped the vein of the national unconscious with his blank verse. Marlowe was revolutionizing theatre. Theatre was no longer the retinue of private court plays and entertainment. It was now becoming entertainment for the masses, much like our movies are today. And in 1587 through 1588 Marlowe was experiencing his meteor-like rise into fame with his break-out play, Tamburlaine.
Surely Marlowe’s popularity irked the earl. A man who was a mediocre poet at best. A man who could not tap into popular sentiment and something larger than himself because to Edward de Vere, it was all about himself. He was caught in a narcissistic web of delusion of trying to puff himself up with ghost writers who he misused and abused and they eventually turned on him, such as Greene when penning his last, his Groatsworth.
From what Chettle did not edit, there are still clues left in the Groatsworth text indicating that Greene was implicating Edward deVere. Green dedicated many of his works to the Earl of Oxford. He most likely knew the earl personally, the London theatre network was very small. The earl had two theatre companies, Oxford’s Men and Oxford’s Boys, and employed playwrights to work for him, such as Anthony Munday and John Lyle. Although these playwrights are officially listed, many are not. By the 1580’s the Earl of Oxford was employing a host of playwrights and scholars to work for him.
As Roberto contemplates his troubles after Lucanio cuts off their relationship due to a spat regarding Lamelia in Groatsworth, a gentleman speaks to him from over the hedge of possible employment for his work. Greene speaks of being happy of hearing positive words of possible profit for his writing. He says, “for that this iron age affoordes few that esteeme of vertue…”  Iron age is a code word for Gabriel Harvey, Marlowe declared Harvey “an ass fit only to preach of the iron age.”  Thomas Nashe, playwright, also draws attention to Harvey and his “iron age” in Get Ye to Saffron Walden. Gabriel Harvey is linked to the Earl of Oxford in an insufferable, ingratiating way. He seeks to please the earl with his addresses to him in the queen’s court to act like a noble and put down your pen speech, and yet in Speculum Tuscanismi, he spoofs the earl’s Italiante ways. Harvey is linked to the earl through his relationship with Edmund Spencer of Fairie Queene fame, a poem that references the earl. Oxford may be using Harvey indirectly through Edmund Spencer to get at Thomas Nashe and Robert Greene, writers who became very critical of him. Gabriel Harvey comes across as a social climber, a man who seeks position by conversing and commenting on and with the nobility or famous poets such as Edmund Spencer, whose friendship he made much of, while at the same time putting others down who sought to transgress the Elizabethan social order through their wits, using their plays and poems as social commentary, such as Thomas Nashe.
Roberto relates to the man he is conversing with that he seems like a man of some substance. “So am I where I dwell (quoth the player) reputed at my proper cost to build a windmill.” This line is a direct reference to Edward De Vere’s ancestor, Aubrey De Vere, the very first Earl of Oxford, who also had the distinction of owning one of the very first windmills in England. From this ancient windmill on Aubrey De Vere’s land he was able to collect tithes for the monks of Saint Mary of Hatfield Regis, a charitable and virtuous contribution that the current Earl of Oxford would unlikely partake in.
The next line of the Groatsworth is pure cunning comedy. The gentleman tells Roberto, “What though the world once went hard with me, when I was faine to carry my playing Fardle a footbacke; Tempora mutantur, I know you know the meaning of it better than I, but I thus conster it: its otherwise now…”  The Earl of Oxford was known to have famously farted in front of Queen Elizabeth. He was so ashamed he disappeared, or footbacked, for seven years. Greene is clearly punning on words here. He’s making use of a story that was obviously well circulated. The gentleman goes on to say, “…its otherwise now; for my very share in playing apparel will not be sold for two hundred pounds.” Greene is alluding to the earl and how much he spends on current fashions. The earl was known to spend hundreds of pounds on clothing and accessories.
The gentleman goes on to tell Roberto that he will be employed in making plays and well paid for his efforts. Roberto then goes off with his new patron who lodges him in the “Townes end in a house of retayle,” a place that is possibly referring to Fisher’s Folly, the earl’s mansion located by the theatre district and the earl lived in the 1580’s. The Earl of Oxford also rented apartments in the Savoy for his literary activities. Interestingly, Thomas Nashe and Thomas Churchyard were put up by the earl in 1590 in the Savoy to further their literary ambitions. If the earl agreed to pay the rent, he obviously was getting something in return. The two were most likely ghostwriting or libeling for the earl. De Vere forfeited on the rent and the poets were out in the cold.
After running with the gentleman in Groatsworth, or the Earl of Oxford, for a period of time, Roberto falls into bad company. Roberto runs into Lucanio again, and relates that Lucanio was also running into hard times, “His lands sold, his jewels pawnd, his money wasted…” Interestingly, this is exactly what happened to the earl’s fortunes. Greene is projecting what happened to Oxford unto the character of Lucanio.
Greene is a master at mixing metaphors and situations and overlaying them on a new situation or person. He knows that people in the know will understand what he is implying. Greene then describes Lucanio as being totally down-and-out, “…walkt he like one of Duke Humfreys Squires, in thread-bare cloake, his hose drawne out with his heeles…,” after being taken advantage of by Lamilia. The reference is to Duke Humphrey’s tomb in Saint Paul’s Churchyard. Apparently the most desperate crook would walk past the monument hoping to snare a few coins through illegal activities. While fortunate tricksters were able to dine at a tavern or ordinary, those that couldn’t pare a patron’s purse from their side could only hope to ‘dine with Duke Humphrey’ as the saying went.
The Earl of Oxford was known to employ many servants who would do what it took to sustain him in his court intrigues and power plots. Many of the people that were looking for an easy con or confidence game could be found frequenting Saint Paul’s. The Earl of Oxford could have easily have been one Duke Humphrey’s Squires, having the money and the means to obtain those who might be desperate for cash.
In the final analysis Greene warns his fellow writers to seek better “…Maisters; for it is pittie men of such rare wits, should be subject to the pleasure of such rude groomes.” Certainly Edward de Vere was not known for his charity and hospitality regarding the writers in his employ. In a strange twist of irony Greene refers to the earl as an “upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tyger’s heart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey.”
At the point in time the only one able to concoct a bombasting blank verse was Christopher Marlowe. He was the only one to really shake-a-scene with Edward Alleyn acting his lead roles. The upstart crow who was beautified with other writer’s feathers was the earl. His deceitful tyger’s heart was disguised in a player’s role in a play either he, one of his ghost writer’s, or a combination of the two had written for his playing companies. The earl, being arrogant and narcissistic, truly believed that he was the only shake-scene in the country, and if there was anyone who would destroy that illusion, which would cause him narcissistic injury, than that person would have to be gotten rid of, or at the very least demoted and humiliated, which is what the earl attempted with Christopher Hatton in 1576 when he published some of his poetry which may have left Hatton personally compromised in the eyes of the court.
Shakespearean scholars, particularily Stratfordians, have pulled the infamous shake-scene line in Greene’s Groatsworth as proof of the existence of Shakespeare, and therefore, by default, his authorship of the plays and sonnets. Instead of questioning this apparent “fact,” they have cobbled together a huge case in favor of the man from Stratford, known as Shakspere, with this whimsical line as prima facie evidence in supporting their claim. Much has been made of this claim of Shakespeare for authorial attribution purposes. The reasoning is that there was no reference to a thundering player, or a shake-scene, anywhere else in the literature until Greene wrote Groatsworth. This is the very starting myth of why Shakespeare the actor and Shakespeare the writer were melded into one.
The same type of authorial attribution arguments of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets are also made for the Earl of Oxford. Gabriel Harvey in his address to the earl mentions that his countenance shakes-a-spear, implying that the earl used this as his nom de plume to remain anonymous. Ironically, this same nom de plume may have been adopted by Christopher Marlowe if he survived Deptford. It would been a direct allusion to the Earl of Oxford, as if shaking his fist at him, a perfect ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ allusion. A line that could have referenced Greene’s warning in the Groatsworth.
So at first blush, it is therefore not correct in inserting the Shakespeare or shake-scene as evidence in authorial claims. It was simply used as a metaphor in reference to bellowing blank verse that many a buskin trajedian, most famously Edward Alleyn, would orate on the stage. In the parlance of Elizabethan England stagecraft it was in fact a unique way of referencing Christopher Marlowe’s blank verse, a revolutionary verse which would literally shake-a-scene in Elizabethan England.
 Encyclopedia Britannica, “Robert Greene,” 11th Ed., vol. XII. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910), 541.
 Susanne Woods, ed., The Poems of Aemlia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judeorum (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), xxiv.
 William Shakespeare, The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, eds. Stephen Orgel, and A.R. Braunmuller, (New York:Penguin Group, 2002)
 Woods, The Poems, 59, 205-208
G.F. Miller, “Sexual Selection for Indicators of Intelligence,” in The Nature of
Intelligence, Novartis Foundation Symposium, 233, eds. G. Bock, J. Goode, and K.
Webb (John Wiley, 2000), 5.
 David Cressy, Literacy and the Social Order: Reading and Writing in Tudor and Stuart England (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 224.
 Christopher Marlowe, “Lucan’s First Book,” in Complete Poems, ed. Drew Silver. (New York: Dover, 2003), 89.
 Robert Greene, Groatsworth of Wit, bought with a million repentance, transcribed by R.S Bear. (University of Oregon: Renascence Editions, 2000), 6.
 Christopher Marlowe, “The Jew of Malta,” in The Complete Plays, ed. Mark Thornton Burnett. (London: Orion House, 1999), 461.
 Greene, Groatsworth, 15.
 Ibid., 19.
 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR Fourth Edition. (American Psychiatric Association, 2000), 645-650.
 Gabriel Harvey, “Speculum Tuscanismi,” in The Works of Gabriel Harvey, D.C.L.; ed. Alexander B. Grosart; vol. I, (London and Ayelsbury: Hazell, Watson, and Viney, 1884), 83-6.
 Alan H. Nelson, Monstrous Adversary, (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2003), 275.
 B.M. Ward, The Seventeenth Earl of Oxford 1550-1604 from Contemporary Documents, (London: John Murray, 1928), 207-209.
 Charles Nicholl, The Reckoning, (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1992), 277-8.
 Nelson, Monstrous Adversary, 209-10.
 Ibid., 173.
 Henry Chettle. “Kind Hart’s Dream,” in Early English Poetry, Ballads, and Popular Literature of the Middle Ages, for The Percy Society, ed. Edward F. Rimbault, Esq. vol. 5, (London: C. Richards), iv.
 Nicholl, The Reckoning, 234-9.
 Nelson, Monstrous Adversary, 247, 381.
 Mark K.Anderson and Roger Stritmatter. “The Potent Testimony of Gabriel Harvey: “Master Pierce Penniless” and his “Sweetest Venus in Print…armed with the complete harness of the bravest Minerva.” Shakespeare Matters, Winter (2002), 26.
 Isaac D’israeli, Esq. Curiosities of Literature, (New York: William Pearson, and Co., 1835), 83.
 Thomas Nashe, “Have With You to Saffron-Walden,” in The Works of Thomas Nashe, ed. Ronald B. McKerrow, vol III, (London: A.H. Bullen, 1904), 85.
 Ward, The Seventeenth Earl, 157-8.
 Ibid., 189.
 Ibid., 300-301.
 Greene, Groatsworth,12.
 Edward J. Kealey, Harvesting the air: windmill pioneers in twelfth-century England. (California: University of California Press, 1987),100.
 Nelson, Monstrous Adversary, 3.
 Greene, Groatsworth,12.
 Thomas J. Looney, “Shakespeare” Identified in Edward De Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford. (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1920), 416.
 Anderson and Strittmater, Potent Testimony, 26.
 Greene, Groatsworth,13.
 Gamini Salgado, The Elizabethan Underworld, (London: The Folio Society. 2006), 9.
 Nelson, Monstrous Adversary, 57.
 Greene, Groatsworth, 17.
 Ward, The Seventeenth Earl, 132-41.
 Ibid., 158.
Anderson, Mark K. and Roger Stritmatter. The Potent Testimony of Gabriel Harvey: “Master Pierce Penniless” and his “Sweetest Venus in Print…armed with the complete harness of the bravest Minerva.” Shakespeare Matters. Winter (2002): 26 – 29.
Chettle, Henry. “Kind Hart’s Dream,” in Early English Poetry, Ballads, and Popular Literature of the Middle Ages, for The Percy Society, edited by Edward F. Rimbault, Esq. vol. 5, p. iv. London: C. Richards. Originally published in The Black Letter Tract. London: William Wright, 1592.
Cressy, David. Literacy and the Social Order: Reading and Writing in Tudor and Stuart England. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. p.224, p. 179 – in period of 1686 – 1690 more than 70 % of men and 90 % of women unable to sign their names. p 145 – Women were almost universally unable to write their names in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Demographia. “Greater London, Inner London & Outer London Population & Density History,” Wendell Cox Consultancy. www.demographia.com. http://www.demographia.com/dm-lon31.htm Accessed on February 2, 2012.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR Fourth Edition. American Psychiatric Association. 2000.
D’israeli, I., Esq. Curiosities of Literature. New York: William Pearson, and Co., 1835. p 83
Greene, Robert. Groatsworth of Wit, Bought With a Million Repentance. Transcribed by R.S Bear. University of Oregon: Renascence Editions, 2000. Originally published for London: William Wright, 1592.
Gurr, Andrew. Playgoing in Shakespeare’s London. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Ingleby, C.M., F.J. Furnivall, and L Toulmin Smith. The Shakespeare Allusion Book: A Collection of Allusions to Shakspere From 1591 to 1700. Vol. I. New York: Duffield and Company, 1909. Edited by John Munro.
Kealey, Edward J. Harvesting the air: windmill pioneers in twelfth-century England. California: University of California Press, 1987. p. 100 p 14 (how many in Norman England)
Looney, J. Thomas. “Shakespeare” Identified in Edward De Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1920.
Marlowe, Christopher. “Lucan’s First Book.” In Complete Poems. Edited by Drew Silver. New York: Dover, 2003. p. 89.
Mears, Natalie. “Courts, Courtiers and Culture in Tudor England.” The Historical Journal 46 (3) (2003): 703-22. Accessed February 3, 2012, doi: 10.1017/S0018246X03003212
Nelson, Alan H. Monstrous Adversary. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2003.
Rowse, A.L. The Case Books of Simon Forman: Sex and Society in Shakespeare’s Age. London: Picador, 1974.
Rowse, A.L. The Poems of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady. London: Jonathon Cape Ltd, 1978.
Salgado, Gamini. The Elizabethan Underworld. London: The Folio Society. 2006.
Ward, B.M. The Seventeenth Earl of Oxford 1550-1604 from Contemporary Documents. London: John Murray, 1928.
Woods, Susanne. Lanyer: A Renaissance Woman Poet. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.