Thomas Deloney
Sir Simon Eyer
Novelist and balladist, appears to have worked as a silk-weaver in Norwich, but was in London by 1586, and in the course of the next 10 years is known to have written about 50 ballads, some of which involved him in trouble, and caused him to lie perdue for a time. It is only recently that his more important work as a novelist, in which he ranks with Greene and Nash, has received attention. He appears to have turned to this new field of effort when his original one was closed to him for the time. Less under the influence of Lyly and other preceding writers than Greene, he is more natural, simple, and direct, and writes of middle-class citizens and tradesmen with a light and pleasant humour. Of his novels, Thomas of Reading is in honour of clothiers, Jack of Newbury celebrates weaving, and The Gentle Craft is dedicated to the praise of shoemakers. He “dy’d poorely,” but was “honestly buried.”

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