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The Complete Cony-catching by Robert Greene

The Complete Cony-catching by Robert Greene

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exclassics By exclassics Completed

Robert Greene (1558 - 1592) was an English dramatist, poet,
pamphleteer, rake and debauchee. He appears as a minor character in
both of Anthony Burgess' Elizabethan novels Nothing Like The Sun
(about Shakespeare) and A Dead Man In Deptford (about Marlowe). A
graduate of Clare Hall, Cambridge, he eloped with a wealthy woman
whom he abandoned after having spent all her money. He then went to
London, where he lived by writing, associated with whores, thieves,
and low fellows of every kind, and spent money faster than he got it
on drunkenness and debauchery. The "Groatsworth of Wit", also
available on this site, at
 is his best known work,
and has the first reference in print to William Shakespeare as a
playwright.  In addition he wrote six plays, an amount of poetry and
numerous pamphlets, mostly love stories and accounts of criminals
and swindlers.
     In the six pamphlets here collected you will learn about the
tricks of cony-catchers (swindlers), nips (cutpurses), foists
(pickpockets), cross-biters (men who extort money from a
prostitute's clients by pretending to be her husband), lifts
(shoplifters, and stealers of other unguarded goods), priggers
(horse thieves), and courbers (thieves who drag goods out through
the window with a long hooked pole).  Based on close observation,
and illustrated with stories of notable strokes, they give a great
insight into the underside of queen Bess's and Shakespeare's London.

  • crime
  • history
  • true