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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IV. Prose and Poetry: Sir Thomas North to Michael Drayton.

VI. The Plays of the University Wits

§ 16. Early dramatic work

Now, most recent opinion does not favour the conclusion that, before this date, Greene had produced any surviving work besides Alphonsus and, in collaboration with Lodge, A Looking Glasse for London and England. Even in 1589, Nashe, in his preface to Menaphon, was looking for evidence to elevate Greene above the writers of blank verse plays, and, therefore, would hardly have counted the two plays mentioned, or even Orlando, against such overwhelming successes as The Spanish Tragedie, Tamburlaine and Faustus. For A Looking Glass was written in collaboration; one or both of the others may have been merely burlesque of the new high-flown style; and there is more than a suspicion that Alphonsus was a failure. As will be seen when the probable dates of the plays remaining to us are considered, the safer statement, probably, is that, although Greene had been writing plays before 1589, he had not accomplished anything which could be compared on approximately equal terms with the original achievements of Marlowe or of Kyd, and that his best dramatic work was produced in 1590 or after this date.