Thomas Nashe: The Terrors of the Night

(1892 words)
  • Anthony Ossa-Richardson (Queen Mary, University of London)

Thomas Nashe’s The Terrors of the Night, a 59-page pamphlet of livewire prose ostensibly about dreams and visions, was published in late 1594 when the author was 27 years old. It had been entered in the Stationers’ Register twice—an anomaly with more than one possible explanation. The circumstances of its composition are uncertain, but C. G. Harlow (1963) convincingly argued that a first draft was written in February 1593 at Robert Cotton’s home in Conington, and expanded in June of that year for publication, but that it was delayed for a number of reasons until 1594, by which time the text had been augmented with a new sketch and a dedication to his patron’s wife Elizabeth Carey.

Like much of Nashe’s work, T…

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Ossa-Richardson, Anthony. "The Terrors of the Night". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 May 2014
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]