Erasing an Author's Life: <i>George Gascoigne's Revision of</i> One Hundreth Sundrie Flowres <i>(1573) in His</i> Posies <i>(1575)</i>

Meredith Anne Skura

in Tudor Autobiography

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780226761879
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226761886 | DOI:
Erasing an Author's Life: George Gascoigne's Revision of One Hundreth Sundrie Flowres (1573) in His Posies (1575)

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George Gascoigne's 1573 miscellany A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres presents itself as a collection of fashionable verse by a number of witty young authors, written on various occasions and printed without their knowledge. The initial group of linked poems, “Adventures of Master F. J.,” insists provocatively on its adulterous secrets and hidden identities, and other poems allude more quietly to concealed identities. As Gascoigne later explained in his revised edition, The Posies of George Gascoigne (1575), Hundreth had been accused not only of wantonness but also of slandering important people. Gascoigne claimed that the new edition of 1575 was “gelded from all filthie phrases” and “corrected in all erroneous places,” but in the end it was recalled without explanation by the Queen Majesty's Commission. This chapter argues that, as in all occasional poetry, there is much straightforward autobiographical content in Hundreth. More interesting than Gascoigne's role in the book's content—the “me”—however, is his role as its narrator/editor—the “I” in and behind the book. The two Gascoignes are best traced not only in one or two of the book's most provocative texts but rather in the entire history of Hundreth's composition, from the original process of preparing the selections to the publications of the revised edition two years later.

Keywords: George Gascoigne; A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres; The Posies of George Gascoigne; poetry; autobiography

Chapter.  11406 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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