"Meres, a critic of the time, mentioned as much in his Palladis Tamia of 1598"
Palladis Tamia front page
Public DomainPalladis Tamia front page - Credit: Francis Meres, author, Peter Short, printer

Palladis Tamia: Wits Treasury, was written in 1598 by Minister Frances Meres.  It was the first critical account of the poems and early plays of William Shakespeare. It includes moral and critical reflections borrowed from various sources; sections on books, philosophy, music and painting; and a "Comparative Discourse of our English poets with the Greeke, Latin, and Italian poets."  The book was reissued in 1634 as a school book, and was partially reprinted in Joseph Haslewood’s Ancient Critical Essays (1811) and George Gregory Smith’s Elizabethan Critical Essays (1904).