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The Unfortunate Traueller: or, The Life of Jacke Wilton is a picaresque novel by Thomas Nashe first published in 1594 but set during the reign of Henry VIII of England. Jack Wilton adventures through the European continent and finds himself swept up in the currents of sixteenth-century history. Episodic in nature, the narrative jumps from place to place and danger to dange The Unfortunate Traueller: or, The Life of Jacke Wilton is a picaresque novel by Thomas Nashe first published in 1594 but set during the reign of Henry VIII of England. Jack Wilton adventures through the European continent and finds himself swept up in the currents of sixteenth-century history. Episodic in nature, the narrative jumps from place to place and danger to danger. Jack begins his tale among fellow Englishmen at a military encampment, where he swindles his superiors out of alcohol and money, framing others as traitors. Commenting by the way on the grotesque sweating sickness, Jack arrives in Munster, Germany, to observe the massacre of John Leyden's Anabaptist faction by the Emperor and the Duke of Saxony; this brutal episode enables Nashe to reflect on religious hypocrisy, a theme to which he frequently returns. Following the massacre of the Anabaptists at Munster, Jack Wilton has a number of personal encounters with historical figures of the sixteenth century, many of them important for their literary contributions. Passing into Italy, the land where the remainder of the narrative unfolds, Jack and Surrey exchange identities. The two engage in acts of deceit and trickery with pimps, prostitutes, and counterfeiters. Forced to dig themselves out of a succession of plots, the disguised Jack and Surrey assume much of the duplicitous behaviour that Italians were stereotypically known for in Renaissance England. Departing from Venice, Surrey and Jack arrive in Florence, the city where Geraldine was born. Surrey is overcome with poetry and speaks a sonnet in honor of her fair room, a moment in which Nashe can slyly mock the overbearing, lovesick verse of contemporary imitators of Petrarch. The copia of Surrey's verse then gives way to a tournament in which the Earl competes for his beloved's fair name, and Nashe offers gratuitous descriptions of the competitors' armor and horses in a manner that recalls printed accounts of early modern masques and other festive spectacles. The most worthy competitor, Surrey emerges from the tournament victorious, but is suddenly called back into England for business matters. Jack and Diamante then travel to Rome, which Jack admires for its classical ruins (he is less impressed by its religious relics). By this point in time, Jack clearly sticks out as a foreigner and a tourist, "imitat[ing] four or five sundry nations in my attire at once." [5] After praising the marvelous wonders of artificially-engineered gardens and lamenting the gruesome, simultaneous realities of the plague, the protagonist stumbles into one of the most memorable episodes of the narrative. Esdras of Granado and his lackey Bartol the Italian break into the house where he and Diamante are lodging, and Esdras rapes the virtuous matron Heraclide, who commits suicide after an eloquent oration. Jack witnesses the episode "through a cranny of my upper chamber unsealed,"[6] and some critics believe this act of voyeurism makes Jack complicit in the act of rape.[7] Heraclide's husband accuses Jack of the rape, but another English character known as the "Banished Earl" stays Jack's execution. This comes at a slight cost, however; banned from his beloved home country, the Earl rattles off a catalogue of reasons to avoid travel at all costs. In Italy, one only learns "the art of atheism, the art of epicurizing, the art of whoring, the art of poisoning, the art of sodomitry."[8] France gains one only a knowledge of wine and the "French disease," syphilis. In Spain, one only acquires strange clothing. The Dutch excel only in their drinking. Such an admonitory catalogue follows the precepts found in the writings of the Elizabethan education theorist Roger Ascham, who warned his fellow Englishmen about the dangers of Italy and its books.[9] In spite of the Banished English Earl's suggestions, Jack remains in Italy in search of his beloved Diamante. In so doing, he becomes entangled with and entrapped by Zadok the Jew and Zachary, the Papal Physician, who plan to use Jack as a specimen at the anatomical college. Freed from the brutal pair by the wiles of Juliana, the Pope's courtesan, Jack reunites with Diamante and robs Juliana of her goods, while Zachary flees and Zadok faces a grotesque combination of torture and execution. The final episode of The Unfortunate Traveller returns to the character of Esdras, who figures now as a victim. At Bologna, Jack and Diamante observe the public execution of Cutwolf, the brother of Esdras's lackey Bartol. Standing before the crowd, Cutwolf delivers a speech recounting his vile actions. Seeking vengeance for his brother's murder, Cutwolf tracked down the villain Esdras, confronted him, and forced him to blaspheme against God and against salvation before discharging a pistol into his mouth, thereby damning his soul eternally in death. Self-righteously, he declares in his own defense before the crowd that "This is the fault that hath called me hither. No true Italian but will honour me for it. Revenge is the glory of arms and the highest performance of valour." [10] In spite of such an oration, Cutwolf joins the ranks of the narrative's brutally-executed characters, and Jack and his newly-wed Diamante flee out of "the Sodom of Italy" back toward the English encampment in France, where the story first began.


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The Unfortunate Traueller: or, The Life of Jacke Wilton is a picaresque novel by Thomas Nashe first published in 1594 but set during the reign of Henry VIII of England. Jack Wilton adventures through the European continent and finds himself swept up in the currents of sixteenth-century history. Episodic in nature, the narrative jumps from place to place and danger to dange The Unfortunate Traueller: or, The Life of Jacke Wilton is a picaresque novel by Thomas Nashe first published in 1594 but set during the reign of Henry VIII of England. Jack Wilton adventures through the European continent and finds himself swept up in the currents of sixteenth-century history. Episodic in nature, the narrative jumps from place to place and danger to danger. Jack begins his tale among fellow Englishmen at a military encampment, where he swindles his superiors out of alcohol and money, framing others as traitors. Commenting by the way on the grotesque sweating sickness, Jack arrives in Munster, Germany, to observe the massacre of John Leyden's Anabaptist faction by the Emperor and the Duke of Saxony; this brutal episode enables Nashe to reflect on religious hypocrisy, a theme to which he frequently returns. Following the massacre of the Anabaptists at Munster, Jack Wilton has a number of personal encounters with historical figures of the sixteenth century, many of them important for their literary contributions. Passing into Italy, the land where the remainder of the narrative unfolds, Jack and Surrey exchange identities. The two engage in acts of deceit and trickery with pimps, prostitutes, and counterfeiters. Forced to dig themselves out of a succession of plots, the disguised Jack and Surrey assume much of the duplicitous behaviour that Italians were stereotypically known for in Renaissance England. Departing from Venice, Surrey and Jack arrive in Florence, the city where Geraldine was born. Surrey is overcome with poetry and speaks a sonnet in honor of her fair room, a moment in which Nashe can slyly mock the overbearing, lovesick verse of contemporary imitators of Petrarch. The copia of Surrey's verse then gives way to a tournament in which the Earl competes for his beloved's fair name, and Nashe offers gratuitous descriptions of the competitors' armor and horses in a manner that recalls printed accounts of early modern masques and other festive spectacles. The most worthy competitor, Surrey emerges from the tournament victorious, but is suddenly called back into England for business matters. Jack and Diamante then travel to Rome, which Jack admires for its classical ruins (he is less impressed by its religious relics). By this point in time, Jack clearly sticks out as a foreigner and a tourist, "imitat[ing] four or five sundry nations in my attire at once." [5] After praising the marvelous wonders of artificially-engineered gardens and lamenting the gruesome, simultaneous realities of the plague, the protagonist stumbles into one of the most memorable episodes of the narrative. Esdras of Granado and his lackey Bartol the Italian break into the house where he and Diamante are lodging, and Esdras rapes the virtuous matron Heraclide, who commits suicide after an eloquent oration. Jack witnesses the episode "through a cranny of my upper chamber unsealed,"[6] and some critics believe this act of voyeurism makes Jack complicit in the act of rape.[7] Heraclide's husband accuses Jack of the rape, but another English character known as the "Banished Earl" stays Jack's execution. This comes at a slight cost, however; banned from his beloved home country, the Earl rattles off a catalogue of reasons to avoid travel at all costs. In Italy, one only learns "the art of atheism, the art of epicurizing, the art of whoring, the art of poisoning, the art of sodomitry."[8] France gains one only a knowledge of wine and the "French disease," syphilis. In Spain, one only acquires strange clothing. The Dutch excel only in their drinking. Such an admonitory catalogue follows the precepts found in the writings of the Elizabethan education theorist Roger Ascham, who warned his fellow Englishmen about the dangers of Italy and its books.[9] In spite of the Banished English Earl's suggestions, Jack remains in Italy in search of his beloved Diamante. In so doing, he becomes entangled with and entrapped by Zadok the Jew and Zachary, the Papal Physician, who plan to use Jack as a specimen at the anatomical college. Freed from the brutal pair by the wiles of Juliana, the Pope's courtesan, Jack reunites with Diamante and robs Juliana of her goods, while Zachary flees and Zadok faces a grotesque combination of torture and execution. The final episode of The Unfortunate Traveller returns to the character of Esdras, who figures now as a victim. At Bologna, Jack and Diamante observe the public execution of Cutwolf, the brother of Esdras's lackey Bartol. Standing before the crowd, Cutwolf delivers a speech recounting his vile actions. Seeking vengeance for his brother's murder, Cutwolf tracked down the villain Esdras, confronted him, and forced him to blaspheme against God and against salvation before discharging a pistol into his mouth, thereby damning his soul eternally in death. Self-righteously, he declares in his own defense before the crowd that "This is the fault that hath called me hither. No true Italian but will honour me for it. Revenge is the glory of arms and the highest performance of valour." [10] In spite of such an oration, Cutwolf joins the ranks of the narrative's brutally-executed characters, and Jack and his newly-wed Diamante flee out of "the Sodom of Italy" back toward the English encampment in France, where the story first began.

30 review for The Unfortunate Traveller: Or, the Life of Jack Wilton

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    This narrative published in 1594 is sometimes listed as the first English novel, but it is surely not a "novel" in any formal sense of the word. An odd book, extremely loose in construction, it begins as a collection of prankish anecdotes, shifts into a picaresque account of continental travel (studded with the occasional casual satire and stylistic parody), and ends as a grim Italianate narrative fraught with rape, murder and revenge. But the style, oh the style! Nashe is a master of English pro This narrative published in 1594 is sometimes listed as the first English novel, but it is surely not a "novel" in any formal sense of the word. An odd book, extremely loose in construction, it begins as a collection of prankish anecdotes, shifts into a picaresque account of continental travel (studded with the occasional casual satire and stylistic parody), and ends as a grim Italianate narrative fraught with rape, murder and revenge. But the style, oh the style! Nashe is a master of English prose--the sort of rambling, periodic prose, discursive and musical, that expired long before the beginning of the eighteenth century. The book is often difficult to read (the vocabulary is at time obscure and daunting), but the stylistic beauties of Nashe's prose make the journey worthwhile. Speaking of revenge: if you read nothing else in this book, read the gallows speech toward the end in which Cutwolf tells us how he avenged the murder of his brother. Anyone who has even a vestigial belief in eternal damnation will find this account horrible indeed. (Cutwolf is everything Hamlet is not...and vice versa.) Here's just a little taste of Nashe's unique prose, in which a gentleman poet speaks to his former servant about his love for lady-in-waiting Geraldine: Ah quoth he, my little Page, full little canst thou perceiue howe farre Metamorphozed I am from my selfe, since I last saw thee. There is a little God called Loue, that will not bee worshipt of anie leaden braines, one that proclaimes himselfe sole King and Emperour of pearcing eyes, and cheefe Soueraigne of soft hearts, hee it is that exercising his Empire in my eyes, hath exorsized and cleane coniured me from my content. Thou knowst statelie Geyaldine, too stately I feare for mee to doe homage to her statue or shrine, she it is that is come out of Italic to bewitch all the wise men of England, vppon Queene Katherine Dowager she waites, that hath a dowrie of beautie sufficient to make hir wooed of the greatest Kinges in Christendome. Her high exalted sunne beames haue set the Phenix neast of my breast on fire, and I my selfe haue brought Arabian spiceries of sweet passions and praises, to furnish out the f unerall flame of my follie. Those who were condemned to be smothered to death by shacking downe into the softe bottome of an high built bedde of Roses, neuer dide so sweet a death as I shoulde die, if hir Rose coloured disdaine were my deathes-man.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    993. The Unfortunate Traveller = the Life of Jack Wilton, Thomas Nashe The Unfortunate Traveller, or, The Life of Jack Wilton, is a picaresque novel by Thomas Nashe first published in 1594 but set during the reign of Henry VIII of England. In this rollicking and stylistically daring work of prose fiction, Nashe's protagonist Jack Wilton adventures through the European continent and finds himself swept up in the currents of sixteenth-century history. Episodic in nature, the narrative jumps from pl 993. The Unfortunate Traveller = the Life of Jack Wilton, Thomas Nashe The Unfortunate Traveller, or, The Life of Jack Wilton, is a picaresque novel by Thomas Nashe first published in 1594 but set during the reign of Henry VIII of England. In this rollicking and stylistically daring work of prose fiction, Nashe's protagonist Jack Wilton adventures through the European continent and finds himself swept up in the currents of sixteenth-century history. Episodic in nature, the narrative jumps from place to place and danger to danger. Jack begins his tale among fellow Englishmen at a military encampment, where he swindles his superiors out of alcohol and money, framing others as traitors. ... تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دوم ماه آگوست سال 2011 میلادی نخستین نمونه ی انگلیسی از رمانهای «رندنامه» که طرحی هیجان انگیز دارد، «مسافر بدشانس» (1594) نوشته ی توماس نش است ا. شربیانی

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leni Iversen

    A rather peculiar travelogue from 1593 (albeit set in the reign of Henry VIII), with a somewhat Black Adder-ish narrator conniving his way across Europe. While short it is also a bit of a slog, and perhaps best suited as a "special-interest" read than for general consumption. If you are interested in English proto-novels or end of 16th century writing, then go for it. If you're interested in what inspired Shakespeare to create Falstaff, you need only read the beginning where Jack Wilton tricks t A rather peculiar travelogue from 1593 (albeit set in the reign of Henry VIII), with a somewhat Black Adder-ish narrator conniving his way across Europe. While short it is also a bit of a slog, and perhaps best suited as a "special-interest" read than for general consumption. If you are interested in English proto-novels or end of 16th century writing, then go for it. If you're interested in what inspired Shakespeare to create Falstaff, you need only read the beginning where Jack Wilton tricks the army camp cider maker into giving away free drinks. Falstaff is apparently the combination of these two characters. If your interest is random Latin quotes, (eg. Ovid, Vita verecunda est, musa iocusa mea est, My lyfe is chast though wanton be my verse), rampant name dropping, (Thomas Moore, Cornelius Agrippa, every Roman orator and Greek character from a play), and neologisms that never caught on, you might enjoy the whole story. Thomas Nashe firmly believed that "the Saxon monosyllables that swarm in the English tongue are a scandal to it", and so he made up extravagant compound words. As Edmund Gosse puts it in the introductory essay: "It is extraordinary that a man can make so many picturesqe, striking, and apparently apposite remarks, and yet leave us so frequently in doubt as to his meaning." An example: "Why shoulde I goe gadding and fisgigging after firking flantado Amphibologies, wit is wit, and good will is good will." Why indeed, Nashe, why indeed... The narrative is disjointed, and the narrator even more so. There is intrigue, a comedic jousting competition, gruesome battles, even more gruesome torture and execution, and rape. (Not committed by the narrator, who prefers to stick to the intrigue part.) But there is also long unprompted religious monologuing: When Christ sayd, the kingdome of heauen must suffer violence, hee meant not the violence of tedious inuective sermons without wit, but the violence of faith, the violence of good works, the violence of patient suffering. and impromptu love poetry: From prose he would leap into verse, and with these or such lyke rimes assault her If I must die, O let me choose my death, Sucke out my soule with kisses cruell maide I had the book at a three star level of enjoyment until the extravagant antisemitism and general xenophobia towards the end made me knock one star off. I shall let Thomas Nashe bid you adieu: ...perswade thy selfe that euen as garlike hath three properties, to make a man winke, drinke, and stinke, so wee wyll winke on thy imperpections, drinke to thy fauorites, & all thy foes shall stinke before us. So be it Farewell.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    reading this is like reading in a foreign language with someone doing a bad karaoke next door and doing a with a rubiks cube with ur feet. never again

  5. 5 out of 5

    Orçun

    According to Walter Raleigh, both Shakespeare & Nashe are "in the double command of the springs of terror and humour." Terror and humour - that's what I was expecting from a picaresque novel published in 1594. The main difficulty of this text is not the archaic language, but the stylish long sentences of Nashe, which combine high poetic oration with colloquial language (and sometimes slang). For me, it was fun to read, because this Jack Wilton (an 18-years old rogue wandering through chaotic 16t According to Walter Raleigh, both Shakespeare & Nashe are "in the double command of the springs of terror and humour." Terror and humour - that's what I was expecting from a picaresque novel published in 1594. The main difficulty of this text is not the archaic language, but the stylish long sentences of Nashe, which combine high poetic oration with colloquial language (and sometimes slang). For me, it was fun to read, because this Jack Wilton (an 18-years old rogue wandering through chaotic 16th century Europe) had a certain wit and talent to satirize. What about terror? Yes, there is descripton of corpses in a battle field, a plauge epidemic, a cruel scene of rape, conspiracy, murder and two very detailed torture scenes. It is not many pages long, but still disturbing. In the end, I am not sure if we can call this a novel. It is a strange and interesting blend of fact & fiction, narration & chronicle. Maybe, someone can find in it a very early precursor of Hunter S. Thompson's "gonzo journalism".

  6. 5 out of 5

    Roland

    This is one of the most fucked-up books I've read recently. I haven't read torture scenes this lovingly depicted since "Naked Lunch." And this was June 27, 1593! The antisemitism of pretty idiotic, but this was the 1500's after all. This is one of the most fucked-up books I've read recently. I haven't read torture scenes this lovingly depicted since "Naked Lunch." And this was June 27, 1593! The antisemitism of pretty idiotic, but this was the 1500's after all.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cameron Willis

    Read for a class about early modern English literature. Professor felt it represented post-modern literature avant la lettre, I argued it represented pre-modern literature, before genre conventions and even the basics of the novel had been firmed up. Hilarity ensued. We later stared on stage together in a local production of Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing'. Read for a class about early modern English literature. Professor felt it represented post-modern literature avant la lettre, I argued it represented pre-modern literature, before genre conventions and even the basics of the novel had been firmed up. Hilarity ensued. We later stared on stage together in a local production of Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing'.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    Ugh, early modern prose is not my favorite thing, and this early version of a picaresque novel is chaotic and tedious at the same time. I was most interested during the detailed descriptions of violence, not because I love reading graphic torture scenes, but because it was at those moments that the narrative slowed down enough for the reader to engage.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristel

    Read this a long time ago, on my nook. It is a story of Jack Wilton and it is called a picaresque style novel. Its like an adventure story. A bit too long in my opinion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Though short, this is a real eye opener as to life in those times. Violent, harsh, cruel, filthy, disgusting... and all told in loving detail by a man who travels about Europe. The language is a bit tough, I would suggest trying to read this with a group because reading it on your own is hard. The old english is almost phonetic in it's spelling and at times you almost have to read it aloud in order to figure out what it being said. Still, as difficult as it can be (especially if it's been 15 or Though short, this is a real eye opener as to life in those times. Violent, harsh, cruel, filthy, disgusting... and all told in loving detail by a man who travels about Europe. The language is a bit tough, I would suggest trying to read this with a group because reading it on your own is hard. The old english is almost phonetic in it's spelling and at times you almost have to read it aloud in order to figure out what it being said. Still, as difficult as it can be (especially if it's been 15 or so years since you've read anything from that era) it's well worth the read just to see what life really was like back then.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dree

    A proto-novel, certainly not quite a novel as we know it. Rather, this is more like a travelogue of one "Jack Wilton". Servant to an English earl who always seems to find (or to create) trouble. Kind of jumps all over the place (at least all over continental Europe), and the "story" doesn't have a common thread, other than the presence of Jack Wilton. Short, but the older English makes for slow going. Also rather gory, but the stiff old writing makes the gore not seem as gory. If that makes sense A proto-novel, certainly not quite a novel as we know it. Rather, this is more like a travelogue of one "Jack Wilton". Servant to an English earl who always seems to find (or to create) trouble. Kind of jumps all over the place (at least all over continental Europe), and the "story" doesn't have a common thread, other than the presence of Jack Wilton. Short, but the older English makes for slow going. Also rather gory, but the stiff old writing makes the gore not seem as gory. If that makes sense.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John

    This is the highlight of the Rogues' Bookshelf compiled about 80 years ago. It is the misadventures of Jack Wilton, a true and original rogue who traveled through England and the continent, meeting all sorts of interesting characters and getting into all kinds of mischief. The language can be a challenge, since it was written by Thomas Nashe in the 16th century, but it is a fun read nonetheless. This is the highlight of the Rogues' Bookshelf compiled about 80 years ago. It is the misadventures of Jack Wilton, a true and original rogue who traveled through England and the continent, meeting all sorts of interesting characters and getting into all kinds of mischief. The language can be a challenge, since it was written by Thomas Nashe in the 16th century, but it is a fun read nonetheless.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emma (howlsmovinglibrary)

    Well, that escalated quickly.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Isabel

    The Unfortunate Traveller by Thomas Nash was published in 1594, making this book one of the earliest entries on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. In Gosse's introduction he ascribes significance to this book as one of the earliest markers on the road that lead to the modern novel. If you read the preceding two sentences of this review, congratulations, you can (and should) stop there in your Nash studies. You can send your thanks below for saving you further trouble. Seriously, I have The Unfortunate Traveller by Thomas Nash was published in 1594, making this book one of the earliest entries on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. In Gosse's introduction he ascribes significance to this book as one of the earliest markers on the road that lead to the modern novel. If you read the preceding two sentences of this review, congratulations, you can (and should) stop there in your Nash studies. You can send your thanks below for saving you further trouble. Seriously, I have never encountered anything as inaccessible as this book. It's like reading a novel in Spanish when you stopped taking Spanish in the 6th grade. Even Gosse, in his introduction, acknowledges that the story flags midway through and is difficult to follow. I would say that's a gross understatement. Here's a totally random sample from the book (note there are absolutely zero typos in the below): Standing before the supposed king, he was askt what he was, and wherefore he came. To the which in a glorious bragging humour he aunswered, that hee was a gentleman, a captaine commander, a chiefe leacjer, that came away from the king of England vppon discontentment. Questioned particular of the cause of his discontentment, hee had not a word to blesse himself with, yet faine he would haue patcht out a poltfoote tale, but (God he knows) it had not one true legge to stand on. If that leaves you wanting more, then by all means, this book is for you. Otherwise, run.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shelagh Symonds

    Alas I have not read this book so I have no idea why I have been asked to give a review. All I can say having looked at other peoples reviews is that it does interest me now enough to make me think I do want to read it. Perhaps sometime in the future If I read it I will be able to rate it with stars !

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aileen

    Even though a very short book, the minuscule, cramped print and old English spelling was too much for me. I got to around page 20 without having picked out the story, so decided to abandon.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Holm

    *checks off on list*

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carol Palmer

    I never really got into this story. It just didn't have any real appeal to me. It wasn't "bad", just mediocre. I never really got into this story. It just didn't have any real appeal to me. It wasn't "bad", just mediocre.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angelusblanc

    I don't know when I'll get to the torture scenes but so far this is the most boring early modern text that I have ever read. I don't know when I'll get to the torture scenes but so far this is the most boring early modern text that I have ever read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Judith Rich

    I'm a fast reader, but this took me MONTHS, even though it's not that long. I found the Elizabethan slang impenetrable and the links to the explanatory notes on my Kindle edition didn't work properly (kept making me lose my place) so I had to abandon trying to look at them. Which meant I didn't understand what I was reading properly. It was also really rather violent and gruesome, but I suppose that was the era - the same one that gave us Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and the blinding scene in K I'm a fast reader, but this took me MONTHS, even though it's not that long. I found the Elizabethan slang impenetrable and the links to the explanatory notes on my Kindle edition didn't work properly (kept making me lose my place) so I had to abandon trying to look at them. Which meant I didn't understand what I was reading properly. It was also really rather violent and gruesome, but I suppose that was the era - the same one that gave us Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and the blinding scene in King Lear. Read as part of 1001 BTRBYD challenge but I didn't enjoy it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I really couldn't get into this book. The old english was enough to put me off, but I just wasn't grabbed by the story either. I tried to finish it, but didn't care enough to make the effort. I know other people enjoyed it immensely, and it had some humourous sentences, but in the end it wasn't enough. I really couldn't get into this book. The old english was enough to put me off, but I just wasn't grabbed by the story either. I tried to finish it, but didn't care enough to make the effort. I know other people enjoyed it immensely, and it had some humourous sentences, but in the end it wasn't enough.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Utkewicz

    I can appreciate what Thomas Nashe has done here, but I couldn't understand heads or tails of it. I'm guessing this would have been a good story for the people that were reading it in the 14th Century. Too far removed for me to be able to grasp what was going on. The language was too close to Old English to be a comfort. I can appreciate what Thomas Nashe has done here, but I couldn't understand heads or tails of it. I'm guessing this would have been a good story for the people that were reading it in the 14th Century. Too far removed for me to be able to grasp what was going on. The language was too close to Old English to be a comfort.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wreade1872

    Comedy about a soldier who's only in the army for the looting and free beer. He's willing to go to any lengths to ensure an easy life for himself. He's a bit like Shakespeare's Falstaff. Be warned there are several torture/execution scenes in this which are truly horrific and very much at odds with the generally comedic tone. Comedy about a soldier who's only in the army for the looting and free beer. He's willing to go to any lengths to ensure an easy life for himself. He's a bit like Shakespeare's Falstaff. Be warned there are several torture/execution scenes in this which are truly horrific and very much at odds with the generally comedic tone.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Malika Johnson

    The Unfortunate Traveller did not appeal to me. The graphic violence and rape scenes were sickening, and most of the rest of the book dragged. I did appreciate some of the satirical social commentary, but all in all jack Wilton's unpleasant character and archaic language were too much for me. If I had a darker sense of humor I would have enjoyed it much more. The Unfortunate Traveller did not appeal to me. The graphic violence and rape scenes were sickening, and most of the rest of the book dragged. I did appreciate some of the satirical social commentary, but all in all jack Wilton's unpleasant character and archaic language were too much for me. If I had a darker sense of humor I would have enjoyed it much more.

  25. 5 out of 5

    lawyerbookworm

    I can appreciate what Thomas Nashe has done here, but I couldn't understand heads or tails of it. I'm guessing this would have been a good story for the people that were reading it in the 14th Century. Too far removed for me to be able to grasp what was going on. The language was too close to Old English to be a comfort. I can appreciate what Thomas Nashe has done here, but I couldn't understand heads or tails of it. I'm guessing this would have been a good story for the people that were reading it in the 14th Century. Too far removed for me to be able to grasp what was going on. The language was too close to Old English to be a comfort.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Not great, but not terrible either. The old English spelling is a little distracting from time to time but I was able to manage it pretty well. Very graphic violence and it drags terribly in the middle, but this is a quick read for a classic.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lyndi

    I read this because it was on Boxall's 1001 Books list, but the old english spelling was quite challenging. I had to sound out the words sometimes to figure out what Nashe was trying to say. It's has more violent scenes than I would think for such a short book. Overall just an ok read for me. I read this because it was on Boxall's 1001 Books list, but the old english spelling was quite challenging. I had to sound out the words sometimes to figure out what Nashe was trying to say. It's has more violent scenes than I would think for such a short book. Overall just an ok read for me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Harry Burnside

    It was hard going at first until I got used to the interesting spelling of the sixteenth century but I soon got used to it. Interesting story, gory at times and also gave food for thought on morality.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    This book was thankfully quite short - and is the shortest, so far, on the 1,001 Books to Read list. I had no idea what was going on. The language was way, way too highbrow for me to grasp anything. There was an adventure, or something. I felt the word choices were a smokescreen for an empty story.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Newell

    a humorous look at the adventures of a page in the court of Henry VIII that takes a strange xenophobic turn with the dismemberment and desecration of foreign bodies... interesting look at the picaresques of the period.

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