Manuscript Verse Collectors and the Politics of Anti-Courtly Love Poetry

Hardcover | June 14, 2009

byJoshua Eckhardt

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This book reappraises the work of early-seventeenth-century collectors of English Renaissance poetry in manuscript. The verse miscellanies, or poetry anthologies, of these collectors have long attracted the attention of literary editors looking for texts by individual, major authors, and theyhave more recently interested historians for their poems on affairs of state, called verse libels. By contrast, this book investigates the relationships that the compilers of miscellanies established between such presumably literary and political texts. It focuses on two of the most popular, andleast printable, literary genres that they collected: libels, and anti-courtly love poetry, a literary mode that the collectors of John Donne's poems played a major role in establishing. They made Donne the most popular poet in manuscripts of the period, and they demonstrated a special affinity forhis most erotic or obscene poems, such as 'To his Mistress going to bed' and 'The Anagram'. Donne collectors also exhibited the similarities between these Ovidian love elegies and the sexually explicit or counter-Petrarchan verse of other authors, thereby organizing a literary genre opposed to theconventions of courtly love lyrics. Furthermore, collectors politicized this genre by relating examples of it to libels. In so doing, manuscript verse collectors demonstrated a type of literary and political activity distinct from that of authors, stationers, and readers. Based on a thoroughinvestigation of manuscript verse miscellanies, the book appeals to scholars and students of early modern English literature and history, Donne studies, manuscript studies, and the history of the book.

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This book reappraises the work of early-seventeenth-century collectors of English Renaissance poetry in manuscript. The verse miscellanies, or poetry anthologies, of these collectors have long attracted the attention of literary editors looking for texts by individual, major authors, and theyhave more recently interested historians for...

Joshua Eckhardt teaches sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

other books by Joshua Eckhardt

Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.1 inPublished:June 14, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199559503

ISBN - 13:9780199559503

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations and conventions1. The literary and political activity of manuscript verse collectors2. The politics of courtly and anti-courtly love poetry in the hands of collectors3. 'Love-song weeds, and Satyrique thornes': anti-courtly love poetry and Somerset libels4. The Spanish match and the history of sexuality5. Verse collectors and Buckingham's assassinationEpilogue: Redeploying anti-courtly love poetry against the protectorateAppendices: 1. Selected verse texts; 2. Manuscript descriptionsIndex of manuscripts citedList of printed works citedGeneral index