Item 9 - Letter from Edgar Kofler to R. B. McKerrow

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Letter from Edgar Kofler to R. B. McKerrow


  • 21 Feb. 1939 (Creation)

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35 Bickerton Road, Headington, Oxford.—Asks whether there is any evidence of Nashe’s Unfortunate Traveller being read in the 18th century.



Oxford. {1} February 21st, 1939
35, Bickerton Road | Headington

Dear Sir,

I thank you very much for your kind offer of giving me your advice about some doubtful points in my work about Th. Nash.

As you know, I am engaged in a study upon ‘Th. Nashe and the Picaresque’ in the Unfortunate Traveller. I think as you do that this book is an interesting attempt in a new direction, and though of the same province as the Picaresque novel, equally far from the early English rogue literature (jest-books, conny-catching pamphlets) and the Spanish Picaresque (Lazarillo de Tormes, and later on, Guzman de Alfarache). This seems to me to be characteristic of what is commonly called the English Picaresque with Defoe and Smollett. And I should like to know if there is now any evidence of Nash’s “Unfortunate Traveller” being read in the XVIIIth Century? From your edition of Nash, I see that only pamphlets of his seem to have been known in that time; but is it known whether Sir W. Scott came to be aquainted† with the story of C. Agrippa’s magic mirror (which he was to use in the “Lay of the last Minstrel”, 1805) through this novel of Nash?

Yours very truly
Edgar Kofler


{1} This word is underlined, not printed.

† Sic.

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