Thomas Nashe: Nashe's Lenten Stuff

(2121 words)
  • Anthony Ossa-Richardson (Queen Mary, University of London)

Early in his documentary-essay Magnetic North (2008), Jonathan Meades extols the herring as the defining staple of Northern Europe, comparable to the Mediterranean olive, and “infinitely preferable to lobster or sole”. From Arras to Helsinki, a dish of herring with the local tipple punctuates his meander along the coast, leitmotiv as celebration. But Meades was not the first to praise the fish. A stray snippet by John Taylor the Water Poet, four centuries earlier, noted:

Tom Nash a witty pamphlet did endite
In praise of Herrings, both the red and write. (Taylor, sig. Fff2v)

Taylor was here referring, in the course of a long litany of previous mock …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Ossa-Richardson, Anthony. "Nashe's Lenten Stuff". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 July 2014
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]