Courtly Literary Culture and Manuscripts of the Court

Sebastiaan Verweij

in The Literary Culture of Early Modern Scotland

Published in print March 2016 | ISBN: 9780198757290
Published online May 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191817229 | DOI:
Courtly Literary Culture and Manuscripts of the Court

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Chapter One deals with writing and manuscript-making at the court of James VI, from c.1570 to the Union the Crowns in 1603. It focuses on the writing and publishing strategies of a number of the king’s courtiers (not the king himself, and not one such courtier in particular, William Fowler): Alexander Montgomerie, James and Thomas Hudson, Alexander Hume, Patrick Hume of Polwarth, and others. The chapter shows that there is little bibliographical support for the long-accepted notion of a close-knit poetic brotherhood at court, of the kind suggested by Helena Shire (the ‘writing game’ of a courtly elite known as the ‘Castalian band’). Responding to recent criticism about courtly writing (e.g. Bawcutt, Van Heijnsbergen), it will finally argue that a more bibliographically orientated literary history of courtly poetry ought to supplant the widely accepted version by Shire.

Keywords: court; manuscripts; Scotland; Alexander Montgomerie; James Hudson; Thomas Hudson; Alexander Hume; Patrick Hume of Polwarth; Castalian Band; writing game

Chapter.  12611 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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