After his 1585 marriage in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare disappears from view

until 1592, when he emerges as a playwright in London. Two allusions in 1592 verify

his presence in the city, and both seemingly testify to Shakespeare’s prominence

as a popular playwright. In the first edition of Pierce Pennilesse, entered into the

Stationers’ Register on 8 August 1592 (Arber ii.619), Thomas Nashe comments on

the condition of the London stage:

Only one extant Elizabethan play-Shakespeare’s 1 Henry VI-features Talbot,

although it is possible there may have been other Talbot plays by 1592. In the absence

of additional evidence, however, it is probable, though not certain, that Nashe was

referring to 1 Henry VI. If so, this means that by August 1592 Shakespeare had

written a phenomenally successful play seen by “ten thousand spectators at least

(at severall times).” It also means Shakespeare, or at least one of his plays, had

impressed one of the prominent writers and literary commentators of the day.2 Such

approval was not, however, universally the case.