The Unfortunate Traveller

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The Unfortunate Traveller by Thomas Nashe (1594) is a picaresque novel set during the reign of Henry VIII of England. The narrator, Jack Wilton, describes his adventures as a page during the wars against the French, and his subsequent travels in Italy as page to the Earl of Surrey. In his travels, Jack witnesses numerous atrocities, including battlefields, plague, and rape: at one point he is nearly hanged, and at another, he is on the point of being cut up in a live anatomy demonstration. Jack's narrative climaxes by describing the brutal revenge taken by one Italian on another, who forces him to pray to the devil and then shoots him in the throat: Jack himself escapes and returns to England.

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