Beware the Cat is an anti-Catholic satire written by the playwright and printer William Baldwin (fl 1547) in 1553, but not published until 1570. It consists of three linked sections about a kingdom of talking cats, in the form of a debate about the ability of animals to reason, ridiculing the superstitions underlying Catholic beliefs. It is widely considered to be the first English novel, or at least “the earliest original work of longer fiction in English”.[1]



Ringler Jr., William A. “‘Beware the Cat’ and the Beginnings of English Fiction.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, vol. 12, no. 2, Winter 1979, pp. 113–26,