Robert Greene?
Henry Chettle
(probably reviser rather than collaborator)



a synoptic, alphabetical character list

The Malone Society Reprints 1935 (1936). Likely an abridged and imperfect version of a longer text. Text based upon a manuscript in the Duke of Northumberland's library at Alnwick Castle. The last verso is particularly fragmented.


Turkish Emperor. Having been defeated at Ravenna by the forces of Frederick, he captures Friar Bacon, only to be tricked by him into giving up his imperial robe and crown. He returns to fight at Ravenna, is victorious and burns the city.


A demon conjured by Bacon while he is imprisoned; initially he refuses to follow Bacon, since Bacon is Christian, but quickly yields to his command and frees Bacon and his servant Perce.


The Friar helps the Germans defeat the Turkish army at Ravenna, but he is quickly captured by the Turkish as he is reading a conjuring book. He tricks Amurath into giving up his crown and royal robes by conjuring a false Sellimus, who tells his father that unless he pays the ransom, he will be killed. Along with Ferdinand and Vandermast he conjures a dream for the Emperor in which is foretold the outcome of his ongoing war with the Turkish. He blocks Vandermast's attempts at conjuring the now banished Queen for the sake of Ferdinand by substituting Ferdinand's wife. He feeds and cheers the depressed and banished John of Bordeaux and befriends John's wife. He is blamed by the Emperor for conspiring against him, and is captured and imprisoned. Bacon is told that unless he can find someone to defend his case, he will be executed. Bacon conjures a spirit, Astrow, who sets him free. With a final word of warning to Perce to mend his ways, he sets him free, along with all the Emperor's prisoners.


Blames the defeat of the Turkish on John of Bordeaux


On the behalf of the innkeeper, the constable tracks down Perce and the young scholars and accuses them of not paying their bill.


A shepherd and friend of Damon, a shepherd. He tells Damon of the plight of Rossalin and Bacon.


Shepherd and friend of Correbus.


Thanks John of Bordeaux for his faithful service in the defense of Germany against the Turks, and he makes John's son a royal cupbearer. He also extends his thanks to Friar Bacon, whose learning has proved useful to Germany's defense. With Bacon's trickery, he takes the crown and robes of the Turkish Amurath. After his conjured dream, he awakes and receives the forged letter, sent by Ferdinand at the suggestion of Vandermast, which accuses John of Bordeux of treason; he quickly has John banished from the kingdom, along with John's wife and son. During the second battle for Ravenna he becomes ill, and blames his illness on Bacon, who he captures and imprisons, with the treat of eventual execution unless he can find someone in the kingdom to defend him.


The Emperor's son. Melancholy with love for Roassalin, John of Bordeaux's wife, he seeks out the help of Jacques Vandermast. At the suggestion of Vandermast, he launches a plot to have John of Bordeaux exiled and ruined, thus opening the door to the seduction of Rossalin. He is tricked into nearly committing adultery with his own wife (whom Bacon sends in place of Rossalin), and in a final act of desperation, he attempts to bribe a nearly starving Rossalin to sleep with him. After her refusal, he pledges to kill himself.


With the help of Friar Bacon, he wins several decisive battles for the Germans. However, he is framed by a lustful and jealous Ferdinand (with the help of Jacques Vandermast) and is banished by Frederick. Sad and hungry, he is fed through magic and entertained by nymphs conjured by Friar Bacon. He overhears the speech by Correbus and Damon describing the fate of his wife and of Bacon, and vows to save his wife. Along with Bacon and Rossacler, he frees his wife from the Emperor.


An innkeeper who is cheated by Perce and the two young scholars.


Bacon's servant, captured with him by Turkish soldiers. He comically debates the relative merits of Aristotle and Plato, and the relative value of books and bottles, with two of Vandermast's students. Helps the hungry students cheat an innkeeper out of a meal. Freed from prison by Bacon, he vows to end his criminal ways.


Wife of John of Bordeaux, she fights off the advances of Ferdinand, but is banished as a result of Ferdinand's plots to ruin her husband's reputation and good standing with the King. Despite the hunger of her children after her banishment, she still refuses the advancements of a now desperate Ferdinand. Along with Bacon she is captured by the Emperor but is saved by the combined efforts of Rossacler, John and Bacon.


Son of John of Bordeaux, banished along with this father and mother. Disguises himself in order to help protect his banished mother, whom he vows to save from the Emperor's imprisonment. Along with his father and Friar Bacon, he frees his mother from imprisonment.


Amurath's son, he enters the play claiming to be only survivor of a raid on the Turkish camp by the Germans, and that he will die unless his father ransoms him. It turns out, however, once his father has given up his crown and robes, that his son was merely an apparition conjured by Friar Bacon, and that his real son is, in fact, safe.


A Nobleman who reports how bravely Amurath fought and defeated the Germans.


Capture Bacon and his servant Perce.


Conceives of a plan by which Ferdinand can seduce the chaste Rossalin, and convinces him to carry it out. Once she is banished, he attempts to conjure a nearly naked Rossalin. His attempt fails when Bacon intervenes and uses his own magic and connections in the underworld to block Vandermast's spell. He agrees to help the innkeeper get revenge on Perce and the young scholars.


Conjured by Friar Bacon to take the place of Rossalyn in Ferdinand's attempt to seduce her.


Two Yound Scolars ask for help from Perce in obtaining food. Perce shows them how to use their learning to cheat innkeepers out of meals.

Go Back to Top