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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume III. Renascence and Reformation.

IV. Barclay and Skelton

§ 16. Grobianus

Exposing the coarseness of his time, Brant, in Das Narrenschiff, created a new saint, Grobianus, who soon became the typical representative of rude and indecent behaviour, particularly at table. He must have been a very popular figure when, in 1549, a young student of Wittenberg, F. Dedekind, wrote his Latin Grobianus, which was translated (1551) by Caspar Scheidt into German with considerable additions. A new version by Dedekind, Grobianus et Grobiana, in which the hero has a female companion, followed in 1552. The book enjoyed a vast popularity, not only in Germany, but also in France and England. In 1605, Grobianus was translated into English as The Schoole of Slovenrie. Traces of grobianism can be found in Dekker’s Gul’s Hornbooke (1609). The figure of Grobianus appears utterly transformed in the interlude Grobiana’s Nuptials, where it has become the type of the Oxford man of Jacobean time with his affectation of simplicity. Dedekind’s book was appreciated in England even so late as the eighteenth century, and it was certainly not by chance that a new translation of it, which appeared in 1739, was dedicated to Swift.