Autobiography and Authorship in Renaissance Verse (Early by Elizabeth Heale

By Elizabeth Heale

The arrival of particularly reasonable versions within the mid-16th century produced an explosion of verse, a lot of which represented the 1st individual speaker as a model of the writer. This e-book examines ways that writers, usually looking development of their careers, harnessed verse for self-promotional reasons. Texts studied contain a manuscript autobiography by way of Thomas Whythorne, published verse by way of a girl, Isabella Whitney, trip and battle narratives, in addition to canonical texts via Spenser, Sidney, and Shakespeare.

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S implied presence is a rhetorical device to stabilize a conventional discourse as true speech. Nevertheless, the presentation of Whitney’s poems undermines this rhetorical effect. Placed alongside two male-voiced poems that, accusation for accusation, and complaint for complaint, match her own, the volume places her verse in the context of social jesting and witty exchange implied by, for example, the Devonshire MS verses. Where Turbervile’s narrative of female faithlessness presented Pyndara’s complaints of male faithlessness as the unreliable words of women, Whitney’s plea that her faithless lover keep her letter ‘in store’ as the last expression of her faithful mind (p.

W. T. ‘wherin he had collected divers discourses and verses, invented uppon sundrie occasions, by sundrie gentlemen’ (pp. 141–2). W. has copied the manuscript and taken it to the printer, and is now having it printed under the title ‘A hundreth sundrie Flowers’, only pausing to ‘cover all our names’ to protect the contributors’ privacy. He justifies his act by imagining the amusement and profit the book will give its readers who will ‘sit and smile at the fond devises of such as have enchayned them selves in the golden fetters of fantasie, and having bewrayed them selves to the whole world, do yet conjecture that they walke unseene in a net’ (p.

T. ‘wherin he had collected divers discourses and verses, invented uppon sundrie occasions, by sundrie gentlemen’ (pp. 141–2). W. has copied the manuscript and taken it to the printer, and is now having it printed under the title ‘A hundreth sundrie Flowers’, only pausing to ‘cover all our names’ to protect the contributors’ privacy. He justifies his act by imagining the amusement and profit the book will give its readers who will ‘sit and smile at the fond devises of such as have enchayned them selves in the golden fetters of fantasie, and having bewrayed them selves to the whole world, do yet conjecture that they walke unseene in a net’ (p.

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