Books: Tense Life

GARLAND OF BAYS—Gwyn Jones—Macmillan ($3).

Romantics by the score have painted dreamy pictures of Elizabethan life. For a realist to attempt it means disturbing innumerable hallowed myths—principally the vague one that Shakespeare, Marlowe and their fellows said ods bodikins and talked blank verse in the Mermaid Tavern.

In Garland of Bays Gwyn Jones has written a realistic historical novel about one of the most romantic Elizabethans—Robert Greene— painting the most credible picture in fiction of that incredible era, and drawing one of the most convincing portraits of a poet that contemporary novels have to offer....

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