By Elizabeth Heale

The appearance of really affordable variants 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 booklet examines ways that writers, usually looking development of their careers, harnessed verse for self-promotional reasons. Texts studied comprise a manuscript autobiography through Thomas Whythorne, revealed verse through a lady, Isabella Whitney, shuttle and battle narratives, in addition to canonical texts through Spenser, Sidney, and Shakespeare.

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And sumtyms shee wold minister talk of pe koorting of ladiez and 3entilwomen by pe gallants, and kavallierz. (p. 93) Such courtly discourse is for Whythorne a form of coded speech, full of innuendo, challenging his own courtly interpretative skills. He struggles to unravel what the codes may mean for him, and to respond prudently: ‘both by wordz and frendly behavor shee seemed pat she wold hav mee to think pat shee bar mee sum goodwill, pe which I mad nomor pen an ordinary akkownt of, bekawz I did perseiv by dyverz means pat shee had A gloriowz head, and perwithall delyted to hav such az shee lyked of to be in loov with her and to be at her kommaundement’ (p.

The high society amours with morally loose courtly dames legitimize the courtly credentials of those who take part in such games. G. The poet who uses this discourse is, however, also constructed by it. Although represented as the male initiator of seduction narratives, the poet-lover is doomed always to re-enact the scenario of deception and female perfidy that constitutes this courtly world in so many poems in these miscellanies. By his very participation in an amorous courtly discourse, the poet-lover inscribes himself as marginal, powerless and insubstantial, a player in a game of charades, a user of a language which is never his own and can never be trusted.

91), for example, which is indebted to Wyatt’s ‘My lute awake’, shifts direction halfway through, turning from a love complaint into a misogynist rant. Elsewhere, poems of courtship are menacingly surrounded by poems of moral warning. ’ the lover’s letter comes to his mistress from a ‘Dungeon deep … Whereas thy faithful servant lives’ to wail his lack of ‘his own dear mistress’ sight’ (pp. ’ (p. 95). ’. Eglogs, Epitaphes and Sonettes carefully constructs Googe as not only a well-taught humanist student, but also, through the sonnets section, as a gentleman, able to turn his hand to a courting lyric, whether in his own voice or not, while demonstrating his morally-sound awareness of the dangers of fancy and its bait, female beauty.

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