Court Politics, Culture and Literature in Scotland and England, 1500-1540 Ebook

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Publication: Ashgate
 
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The focus of this study is court literature in early sixteenth-century England and Scotland. Author Jon Robinson examines courtly poetry and drama in the context of a complex system of entertainment, education, self-fashioning, dissimulation, propaganda and patronage. He places selected works under close critical scrutiny to explore the symbiotic relationship that existed between court literature and important socio-political, economic and national contexts of the period 1500 to 1540.

The first two chapters discuss the pervasive influence of patronage upon court literature through an analysis of the panegyric verse that surrounded the coronation of Henry VIII. The rhetorical strategies adopted by courtiers within their literary works, however, differed, depending on whether the writer was, at the time of writing the verse or drama, excluded or included from the environs of the court. The different, often elaborate rhetorical strategies are, through close readings of selected verse, delineated and discussed in chapter three on David Lyndsay and chapter four on Thomas Wyatt and Thomas Elyot.

Wyatt’s integrity, his honest persona is, however, in chapter five, shown to have been a façade deliberately and adroitly crafted by the poet that allowed him to survive and flourish within a world of political intrigue at the Henrician court. Literature at times could be appropriated by the sovereign and specifically crafted on his behalf to further national and personal political objectives. The possibilities of this appropriation are explored in the final chapter through a scholarly informed imaginative analysis of the works of Buchanan, Dunbar and Wyatt.

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Court Politics, Culture and Literature in Scotland and England, 1500-1540