King, Lords and Men in Renaissance England: The Poetry of John Skelton

John Watts

in Kings, Lords and Men in Scotland and Britain, 1300–1625

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2014 | ISBN: 9780748691500
Published online September 2015 | e-ISBN: 9781474400848 | DOI:
King, Lords and Men in Renaissance England: The Poetry of John Skelton

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Picking up Jenny Wormald’s interest in the relationship between literature and politics in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, this chapter looks at one particular theme in the writing of the English poet John Skelton (c.1460-1529), with a view to commenting on ‘Renaissance’ political culture and on the position of the English nobility in a time of political change. The chapter argues that Skelton’s writing – often regarded as ‘maverick’ – accurately reflects, in an unusually self-conscious manner, the discursive cross-currents of his times, and that these cross-currents, in turn, form an important part of the context in which noble power was restricted, ministerial power advanced and the mechanisms of public representation and debate re-engineered.

Keywords: nobility; poetry; Renaissance; politics

Chapter.  6986 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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