Thomas Nashe: Summers Last Will and Testament

(3296 words)

Summers Last Will and Testament was printed in 1600 – illegally, since the writings of Nashe and his enemy Gabriel Harvey had been banned the previous year. On 1 June 1599, John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Richard Bancroft, Bishop of London, issued a decree that “all Nasshes and Doctor Harvyes bookes be taken wheresoever they maye be found and that none of theire bookes bee ever printed hereafter” (Arber, Transcript 677). Summers Last Will dates from a happier period in Nashe’s relationship with Whitgift: the play (the only extant one of which Nashe was sole author) was probably performed at the Archbishop’s house in Croydon, circa 1592.

The title contains a pun: the p…

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Roberts, Peter Brynmor. "Summers Last Will and Testament". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 January 2011
[, accessed 23 May 2015.]