The most notorious of Mark Twain’s few “excursions into bawdry” (Jones, 612) is his 1876 Elizabethan pastiche “[Date, 1601.] Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors”, commonly shortened to “1601”. Published anonymously in 1880, “1601” has shocked a few readers but cracked up many more, including its hard-to-please author: “I don’t often write anything that I laugh at myself, but I can hardly think of that thing without laughing” (Twain, Notebooks, 303).
“1601” purports to be an extract from a conversation at the court of Queen Elizabeth I between the following: Sir Walter Raleigh, William Shakespeare (‘Shaxpur’), Ben Jonson, a fifteen-year-old Francis Beaumont, Francis Bacon, Queen Elizabeth I, the Duchess of Bilgewater (a
Citation: Fachard, Alexandre. "“[Date, 1601.] Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors"". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 August 2016 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35789, accessed 03 December 2023.]