The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IV. Prose and Poetry: Sir Thomas North to Michael Drayton.

XVI. London and the Development of Popular Literature

§ 2. Lodge on Usury

But the secret of realism was not discovered at once. Thomas Lodge made one of the first attempts in An Alarum against Usurers containing tryed experiences against worldly abuses (1584). Money-lenders, with their devices for discovering the pecuniary embarrassments of young men, for gradually involving the spendthrift in debt and then using him as a decoy to enmesh others, were a theme of deadly interest to a large number of Londoners and offered endless opportunity for wit and narrative power. Although usurers had been an object of satire for more than a century, Lodge was the first systematically to expose their practices. But he still, in a style designed to appeal to the educated, relies for literary effect on the insincerities of the euphuistic novel, and presents a narrative full of apostrophes, harangues and reflections.