Greene, Robert

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Abstract

Greene, Robert (bap. 1558, d. 1592), writer and playwright, was probably the Robert Greene, son of Robert Greene, baptized on 11 July 1558 at St George's, Tombland, Norwich. Greene later described himself as from Norwich on his title-pages, and the year is appropriate for the Robert Greene who matriculated at St John's College, Cambridge, as a sizar on 26 November 1575. The author's father was probably one of two Robert Greenes found later in parish records: either a saddler who lived modestly in the parish until 1599, or a cordwainer who kept an inn in Norwich from the late 1570s until his death in 1591. The saddler appeals to biographers who attribute the writer's later low-life sympathies to a humble birth; the innkeeper, a more prosperous man possibly related to landowners, interests scholars who note the social ambitions of Greene's early works. However, in his will proved in 1591, the innkeeper did not mention a son Robert, although he may have disinherited that son (as the writer implied in one autobiographical statement; (see Complete Works, 12.103)).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOxford Dictionary of National Biography
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

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  • Cite this

    Newcomb, L. H. (2004). Greene, Robert. In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/11418