Greene was a notorious figure in his own time, leading a life of excess and debauchery (or at least so he represents himself in his many journalistic pamphlets). His exposes of the Elizabethan underworld may or may not be based on real experience. He died, according to his friend Thomas Nashe, from a "banquet of Rhenish wine and pickled herring." In addition to his plays, Greene wrote many charming prose romances, with interpolated lyric poems. His works helped lay the foundations of the English drama, and even his worst plays have historical value.