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Beware the Cat is a short English novel written by the printer's assistant and poet William Baldwin sometimes called Gulielmus Baldwinin early It is notable as the first horror fiction text longer than a short story and has also been claimed by some academics as the first novel ever published in English of any kind.
The work languished unpublished afterdue to the change Various - Beware The Cat #10 the political climate under Mary Tudorbut it was published, perhaps with some revision, in in an edition suppressed by the state, now lost.
Another edition appeared in now only known via a Victorian Various - Beware The Cat #10 transcript, apart from four pages which still exist and another in The work was dedicated to the actor John Young. Conteynyng diuerse wounderfull and incredible matters. Uery pleasant and mery to read.
On publication in its edition it was subject to an anonymous poetic riposte of 56 lines, "A shorte Answere to the boke called: Beware the Cat ", which rebukes the author for making fun of the narrator Master Gregory Streamer who is not otherwise known to have really existed.
The novel survived the centuries, and was published in Typographical Antiquities as a fine example of black-letter printing. It received almost no attention from literary scholars, although William P. Holden produced an obscure edition in the original archaic English, issued from Connecticut College in A full scholarly edition only appeared in Ringler and Flachmannafter which some further scholarly papers appeared. The initial setting is in London in the reign of Edward VI.
The story is framed by the oration of an embedded first-person narrator on a cold Christmas night, one Master Streamer, who recounts a complex cycle of interlinked stories to two of his friends as they share his bed. The use of dialogue is highly advanced for the time, the characters are clearly drawn, and the description of the London streets is vivid such as a unique account of a Tudor printing house and its yard at Aldersgate.
The subtlety of the anti-Catholic sentiment also sets it apart as a knowing piece of effective propaganda. The first two sections are essentially horror stories, and the book is then lightened with a third and more comedic section.
In its structure the book resembles the ring composition method found in fairy tales and preliterate storytelling. A later edition of the text included a poem entitled 'T. K Various - Beware The Cat #10 the Reader' which makes more overt the anti-Catholic sentiments.
This possibly gave that particular version of the text Talk Back - Various - Terpsichore (Silly Not To) more political reading than Baldwin had originally intended.
An abridged and rewritten version in modern English by David Haden, was published in his Tales of Lovecraftian Cats along with Haden's adaptations of public domain horror Start Surfin - The Uninvited - Nuragic Surfari! by other authors.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. San Marino: Huntington Library, The Great Cat. Retrieved Categories : books s novels English novels British horror novels Satirical novels Novels about animals Novels set in the 16th century Novels set in London Novels set in Tudor England.
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