The Devonshire Manuscript/General Introduction

Introduction: The First Sustained Example of Men and Women Writing Together in the English TraditionEdit


Despite growing scholarly interest in the Devonshire Manuscript (BL MS Add. 17492), a verse miscellany belonging to the 1530s and early 1540s,[1] there have been no authoritative critical editions published to date.[2] Earlier scholarship privileged the Devonshire Manuscript (conventionally referred to as sigil D in most scholarly apparatus) in relation to the canon of Sir Thomas Wyatt, since 129 of the 185 items of verse (complete poems and fragments) contained in the miscellany have been attributed to him. These verses, in turn, have been transcribed and published by Agnes K. Foxwell, Kenneth Muir, and Patricia Thomson in their respective editions of Wyatt’s poetry.[3] However, as Arthur F. Marotti has argued, the “author-centered focus” of these editions “distorts [the] character” of the Devonshire Manuscript in two ways: “First, it unjustifiably draws the work of other writers into the Wyatt canon, and, second, it prevents an appreciation of the collection as a document illustrating some of the uses of lyric verse within an actual social environment.”[4]

The Devonshire Manuscript is much more than an important witness in the Wyatt canon; it is also, in the estimation of Colin Burrow, “the richest surviving record of early Tudor poetry and of the literary activities of 16th-century women.”[5] The present edition seeks to publish the contents of the manuscript in their entirety, to move beyond the limitations of an author-centered focus on Wyatt’s contributions in isolation, and to concentrate on the social, literary, and historical contexts in which the volume is situated as a unified whole. In doing so, we are mindful of Marotti’s assertion that “literary production, reproduction, and reception are all socially mediated, the resulting texts demanding attention in their own right and not just as legitimate or illegitimate variants from authorial archetypes.”[6] A concomitant aim of the present edition, therefore, is to preserve the socially mediated textual and extra-textual elements of the manuscript that have been elided in previous transcriptions. These “paratexts”[7] make significant contributions to the meaning and appreciation of the manuscript miscellany and its constituent parts: annotations, glosses, names, ciphers, and various jottings; the telling proximity of one work and another; significant gatherings of materials; illustrations entered into the manuscript alongside the text; and so forth. To accomplish these goals, the present edition has been prepared as a diplomatic transcription of the Devonshire Manuscript with extensive scholarly apparatus.

The Works of the Devonshire ManuscriptEdit

Of its 194 items,[8] a figure that includes all creative textual works—complete poems, verse fragments and excerpts from longer works, anagrams, and other ephemeral jottings—the manuscript collection consists of short courtly verses by Sir Thomas Wyatt (129 items, 66 of which are unique to the manuscript) and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1 item); verses attributed to Lady Margaret Douglas (2 items), Richard Hattfield (2 items), Mary Fitzroy (née Howard) (1 item), Lord Thomas Howard (3 items), Sir Edmund Knyvett (2 items), Sir Anthony Lee (1 item [“A. I.” has 3 items]), and Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley (1 item); transcribed portions of medieval verse by Geoffrey Chaucer (11 items), Thomas Hoccleve (3 items), and Richard Roos (2 items);[9] transcriptions of the work of others or original works by prominent court figures such as Mary Shelton, Lady Margaret Douglas, Mary (Howard) Fitzroy, Lord Thomas Howard, and, perhaps, Queen Anne Boleyn;[10] and some 30 unidentified or unattributed pieces.[11]

As Marotti has noted, courtly manuscript miscellanies and poetic anthologies “represent the meeting ground of literary production and social practices,”[12] and the Devonshire Manuscript contains a number of pertinent examples, most notably in the form of epistolary verse and scribal annotation. The most widely documented instance is the sequence of epistolary love-poetry exchanged between Lady Margaret Douglas and Lord Thomas Howard, presumably composed while the couple was incarcerated for their clandestine betrothal.[13] The exchange takes place over a series of poems (ff. [26r]–[29v]), assumed to be in sequence, and all entered by the same hand (TH2).[14] The first verse begins with Lord Thomas lamenting “Alas that euer prison stronge / sholde such too louers seperate” (f. [26r], ll. 5-6). The poem immediately following, thought to be Lady Margaret’s reply,[15] also makes reference to the lovers’ imprisonment and separation: “the one off us from the other they do absent” (f. [26v], l. 9). Lord Thomas then promises his “worldly tresor” that “My loue truly shall not decay / for thretnyng nor for punysment” (f. [27r], ll. 15-16). The form of this “punysment” is captivity, which Lord Thomas likens to that of “a hawke” in a “mue” (f. [27r], l. 27). A hawk is kept in a mew or moulting-cage (OED, “mew, n.2” 3.a) while it sheds its feathers. The image is optimistic, as it suggests that the lovers’ imprisonment and vulnerability is only temporary, and is a time of transformation and renewal: the sixteenth-century encyclopedia Batman vppon Bartholome held that hawks were mewed “that they may be discharged of olde fethers and hard, and be so renewed in fairnesse of youth.”[16]

In the following poem, Lord Thomas identifies his secret betrothal to Lady Margaret as the source of the couple’s current woes—“alas me thynke the[y] do me wronge / That they wold haue me to resyne / my tytly tytle wych ys good and stronge / that I am yowrs and yow ar myne” (f. [27v], ll. 9-12)—and that this punishment is designed to compel him to “swere / your company for to forsake” (f. [27v], ll. 13-14). As the next verse makes clear, the faithful lover remains steadfast in his devotion: “The[y] wyll me hyr for to deny / whom I wyll loue moste hartely / vntyll I dye” (f. [28r], ll. 9-12). The poem immediately following, presumably composed by Lady Margaret, is written as a response to the “great paynes he [Lord Thomas] suffereth for my sake / contynnually both nyght and day” (f. [28v], ll. 5-6), promising to reward his sufferings with eternal love in terms that poetically echo his earlier sentiments: “from me hys loue wyll not decay” (f. [28v], l. 8).

As the sequence progresses, the hopeful tone of the earlier verses—the protestations of unerring commitment and unwavering love, the casting of the lovers’ imprisonment as temporary and a time of renewal—is gradually overtaken by more pessimistic sentiments. The gift of love exchanged between the lovers is no longer described as eternal, but “for terme off lyfe” (f. [29r], l. 22). Explicit allusions to death and despair become more frequent. Consider the closing lines of the final poem in the sequence:

but whan ye comen by my sepulture

remembre that yowr felowe resteth there

for I louyd eke thowgh I vnworthy were[17]

Remley has suggested that this pastiche of lines from Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde “recast[s] an excerpt from the lament of Troilus on the impending departure of Criseyde” and is “meant to serve as Howard’s epitaph.”[18] Other images are more ambiguous in the final poems of the sequence. For instance, those who interfere (“bate or stryfe”) with the lovers’ marriage (“ower louyng bandys”) are wished to be on “goodwyn sandys” (f. [29r], ll. 25-27), a large sand shoal off the coast of Kent, famous as a site of shipwrecks. To “set up shop on Goodwin Sands” was proverbial for hopeless endeavor and running aground.[19] The allusion is clearly designed to express Lord Thomas’ desire to thwart efforts to hinder his relationship, but there is a cruel irony in the desperation of the proverb since it may be read as a projection of his own hopelessness.

While an association between these poems and Margaret Douglas and Thomas Howard can be inferred on the basis of “the insertion of names and initials and the close fit of the biographical detail,”[20] to interpret these poems as actual love letters or as evidence of sincere feeling is, as Catherine Bates has argued, “to assume the position of the state interrogator who could claim, on the basis of such actions or words, to understand exactly what they signified” and to know “the contents of the heart.”[21] Moreover, Bates asks,

Is it not preferable in literary historical terms, and closer to the spirit of Renaissance Court practice, to suspend judgment, to delay pronouncing the fatal “meaning,” and to sustain the play of enigmatic signification, since to do this leaves open the whole range of possibilities that such play-acting allows for: namely, that Thomas Howard and Margaret Douglas dramatized themselves as tragic lovers (or were so dramatized by their friends) either because such role-play did indeed correspond to their inner feelings, or because it allowed them to dissemble feelings that were quite different, or because the whole thing was a joke or game in which no feelings were involved at all, or because it provided an idealized model for feelings to which they aspired?[22]

In addition to the composition of epistolary verse, contributors to the manuscript interacted with one another through scribal annotation. These marginal responses are, at times, quite personal in nature. For example, the text of the poem “Suffryng in sorow in hope to attayn” (f. [6v–7r]) is annotated in the left margin: a hand identified as Lady Margaret Douglas’ writes “fforget thys,” to which a hand identified as Mary Shelton’s responds, “yt ys wor[t]hy” (f. [6v]). The poem is written in a male voice appealing for the love of a lady: “suffryng in sorow” and “desyryng in fere,” the poet pleads for his unnamed addressee to “ease me off my payn” (f. [6v], ll. 1-2, 4). While its authorship remains hotly debated,[23] the acrostic of the verse suggests that Mary Shelton is the intended recipient: the first letter of its seven stanzas spells out “SHELTVN.” The scribal annotations, which may only to refer to the quality of the verse, might therefore take on a more profound and personal meaning: Lady Margaret recommends rejecting the poem and its suit (“fforget thys”), but this advice is contradicted by Shelton who finds “yt ys wor[t]hy.” At the end of the poem, Mary Shelton adds a comment that has been variously transcribed as “ondesyard sarwes / reqwer no hyar,”[24] “ondesyrid favours / deserv no hyer,”[25] or perhaps “ondesyard fansies / requier no hyar.” [26] The transcription poses an interesting editorial crux: “sarwes” might be read as “service” or “sorrows.”[27] Likewise, “hyar” may be read as “hire” or “ear.” As S. P. Zitner has argued, “Whether Mary Shelton was saying that undesired service (attention) required no hire or that undesired sorrows required no ear, the response is pretty much the same in tone and substance.”[28] While this comment may be a “remarkable example of an overtly critical rejoinder to a courtly lyric” written in the spirit described by Zitner, Remley has argued that “it seems equally probable that her words are meant ironically,” that they offer a “private recognition of the absurd spectacle of a man determined to get his way through protestations of extreme humility.”[29] Similarly, Elizabeth Heale has argued such “unsympathetic replies may be part of the conventional exchange of courtly verse” and might be offered in jest, as “such jesting offered some opportunities for female subject positions that seem to have appealed to the women using the manuscript.”[30] Although the precise intentions behind Mary Shelton’s annotations and commentary remain obscure, their potential importance to the meaning and interpretation of the verse cannot be disputed.

Another example of this kind of social interaction is found in the scribal annotations attached to the text of a short verse, “The pleasaunt beat of swet Delyte” (f. [66r]). The poem, entered by an ornate and unidentified hand (H13), closes with the lines “whereas wysdome the soft Iudge doth Raign / prove wyt avoyedes all Daunger breding pain” (ll. 5-6). Over the word “Daunger,” a hand identified as Lady Margaret’s has written “doutt” or “doute.” As with the previous example, the intentions behind the annotation are unclear: if it is meant as a correction, why has the word “Daunger” not been struck out? An alternative explanation might be that the intention is to draw attention to the word “Daunger” by leaving it visible and labeling its appropriateness or sentiment as doubtful.

The instances of scribal annotation and exchanges of epistolary verse detailed above are but representative samples of the kinds of social interaction found throughout the Devonshire Manuscript. In addition to examining the volume as “a medium of social intercourse,” other aspects of the Devonshire Manuscript—its multi-layered and multi-authored composition, its early history and transmission, the ways in which its contents engage with and comment directly on contemporary political and social issues—invite further investigation.

Public and Private, Personal and CommunalEdit

In 1641, Richard Brathwaite considered the relative absence of literary works by women in the following terms:

These [women writers] desired to doe well, and not to be applauded; to advance vertues, and not to have their names recorded: nor their amiable features with glorious Frontispices impaled. To improve goodnesse by humility, was their highest pitch of glory. This their sundry excellent fancies confirmed; their elegant labours discovered; whereof though many have suffered Oblivion through the injury of time, and want of that incomparable helpe of the Presse, the benefit whereof wee enjoy.[31]

According to Brathwaite, the paucity of available literary works by women was the result of a number of social and cultural constraints. In contrast to the "masculine" pursuit of literary fame, women were encouraged to practice the "feminine" virtues of modesty and humility. Moreover, access to technologies of writing and publication was strictly regulated in gendered terms—as Jennifer Summit has argued, “while the printing press [brought] men’s works to public attention, it [denied] the same service to women, consigning them instead to the textual obscurity and fragility of the manuscript.”[32]

Although Brathwaite’s comments were published almost a century after the compilation of the Devonshire Manuscript, they do highlight a number of pertinent issues for further consideration: the question of text and authorship, the status of women in the production and circulation of literary works, and the material conditions of manuscript and print in early modern England. Recent scholarship has radically challenged the traditionally held notions of what constitutes a "text" and an "author." The editorial theories championed by D. F. McKenzie and Jerome McGann expanded the notion of textual production beyond a simple consideration of authorial intention. For McGann, these “nonauthorial textual determinants”[33] should be considered alongside authorial intention to include in our critical gaze “other persons or groups involved in the initial process of production,” the “phases or stages in the initial production process,” and the “materials, means, and modes in the initial productive process.”[34] The program advocated by McKenzie as “the sociology of texts” further extended this concept of textual production by arguing for the significance of the material form of a text and its ability to affect the text’s meaning.[35]

These theories of textual production spurred critics to reevaluate the notion of authorship in order to account for nonauthorial (but nevertheless significant) contributors and collaborators to any given text. It became readily apparent that the modern notion of authorship, with its sense of ownership of and singular control, was anachronistic and particularly unhelpful when dealing with literature of earlier periods. Leah S. Marcus, for example, advocated a process of “unediting, ” a systematic exposition of the various layers of editorial mediation of any given Renaissance text.[36] Critics have also explored the notion of collaborative authorship, especially in relation to Renaissance drama, since the authority of any given play is dispersed amongst an infinite number of collaborations—between author(s) and actor(s), text(s) and performance(s)—and agents involved in processes of mediation, such as revision, adaptation, publication, and preservation.[37]

At the same time, the work of feminist literary critics and historians to rediscover texts by women and revise the canon of Western literature has also exposed the role of gender in the material and institutional conditions of textual production.[38] To effectively investigate the role of women in the production and circulation of literary works, Margaret J. M. Ezell, has persuasively proposed that the definition of “authorship” needs to be reexamined and broadened:

We need to think about not only women who wrote and published and got paid for doing so, but also about women who wrote and circulated text socially, women who compiled volumes and managed the preservation and transmission of texts by themselves and by others, women who patronized and supported other writers through their writings, and even those early modern women who owned books and who interwove their own writing into others’ texts.[39]

“Compilation,” Elizabeth Clarke has noted, “rather than authorship of the writing in a document,” was the “dominant literary activity among women who could read and write” in the early modern period.[40] This is certainly true in the case of the Devonshire Manuscript, where women were, for the most part, directly responsible for the compilation of the predominantly male-authored contents of the anthology.[41] Compilation, like any of the other “nonauthorial” textual determinants described above, is an act of mediation: the selection of verses to be recorded, the manner in which they were entered, and their relative position to one another, all contribute to the meaning of the texts, both individually and as a collection. Verses entered into the manuscript may have been selected on the basis of their popularity at court—which might well account for the disproportionate number of Wyatt poems represented—or for more personal reasons; other verses, as recent scholarship has drawn attention to, were not simply selected and copied, but adapted and altered to suit specific needs.

A pertinent example comes from a series of Middle English verse fragments copied into the Devonshire Manuscript on ff. [89v–92r], fragments extracted from Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and other works attributed to Hoccleve and Roos, all of which were ultimately derived from Thynne’s 1532 edition of Chaucer’s Workes.[42] The inclusion of the Chaucer excerpts prompted John E. Stevens to suggest that these verses were intended for performance at court;[43] however, critics have more recently argued that the fragments are more than simply “remnants of some kind of courtly game or amusement.”[44] Elizabeth Heale has noted that “many of these stanzas utter with an unusual forcefulness a woman’s view of the dangers and doubleness of male rhetoric,” and may “have been chosen because they give, in forthright fashion, a view of women’s reputations and emotions as vulnerable and easily abused in matters of love.”[45] For example, one of the fragments entered into the manuscript is from Thomas Hoccleve’s Letter of Cupid, his Chaucerian-verse rendering of Christine de Pisan’s original French, which pointedly illustrates “the ease with which the pity and kindness [a] woman may show in response to pleading […] can be turned to her shame”:[46]

ys thys afayre avaunte / ys thys honor

a man hymselfe accuse thus and diffame
ys yt good to confesse hymself a traytour
and bryng a woman to sclaundrous name
and tell how he her body hath don shame
no worshyppe may he thus to hym conquer
but great dysclaunder vnto hym and her

To her nay / yet was yt no reprefe
for all for vertue was that she wrowght
but he that brwed hath all thys myschefe
that spake so fayre / & falsely inward thowght
hys be the sclawnder as yt by reason ought
and vnto her thanke perpatuel
that in suche a nede helpe can so well

(f. [89v])

On the next leaf, an excerpt from the Chaucerian poem Remedy of Love has been altered to cast women in a more positive light. Where the original has the misogynistic “the cursydnesss yet and disceyte of women” (f. 336v), the Devonshire Manuscript has “the faythfulnes yet and prayse of women,” rendering the complete stanza as follows:

yff all the erthe were parchment scrybable

spedy for the hande / and all maner wode
were hewed and proporcyoned to pennes able
al water ynke / in damme or in flode
euery man beyng a parfyte scribe & goode
the faythfulnes yet and prayse of women
cowde not be shewyd by the meane off penne

(f. [90r])

Paul Remley has argued that the selection and careful alteration of these medieval fragments in the Devonshire Manuscript allowed their copyist (whom he asserts is Mary Shelton) to “find a voice for her indignation at the treatment of women of her time by hypocritical lovers,” and that the presence of such alterations suggests that the entries “should not be dismissed as mechanical exercises in transcription punctuated by a few haphazard scrawls,” but rather understood as “a deliberate attempt to recast poetry written by others as a new and proprietary sort of literary text.”[47] Elizabeth Heale, however, has suggested that while “it would be nice to be able to claim that these stanzas were copied by a woman,” that “it is entirely possible that they were noted and copied out by Lord Thomas Howard or by another man,” possibly “to amuse and please their female acquaintances, or as a source for poems of their own.” Moreover, Heale argues that the question is better reframed, that “in a system of manuscript copying, appropriation, and adaptation, the question is perhaps less of the name or gender of an originating author,” and more one “of the kinds of voices and gestures the available discourses make possible to copiers and readers of both sexes.”[48]

In addition to the selection and alteration of verses as outlined above, the proximity of one poem to another is often significant. The epistolary love-poetry exchanged between Lady Margaret Douglas and Lord Thomas Howard, collected and entered as a sequence in the manuscript, has already been discussed in some detail above. Another example of the potential importance of physical proximity between entries in the manuscript is the poem “My ferefull hope from me ys fledd” (f. [7v]), signed “fynys quod n[o]b[od]y,” which is answered by the poem immediately following on the facing leaf, “Yowre ferefull hope cannot prevayle” (f. [8r]), which is in turn signed “fynys quod s[omebody].” While this kind of playful imitation and formal echoing does not rely on the relative proximity of the poems in the manuscript, the effect is immediately apparent and more visually striking when the poems are placed, as they are, on facing leaves.

The teasing blend of jest and earnestness in this pair of poems—whose authorship remains unattributed—points to the role of much of the content in the manuscript as participating in the courtly “game of love.”[49] The Devonshire Manuscript was composed entirely by figures associated with the Tudor court, an environment where, as Lawrence Stone has argued, “well-born young persons of both sexes were thrown together away from parental supervision in a situation of considerable freedom as they performed their duties as courtiers, ladies and gentlemen in waiting, tutors and governesses to the children.” Moreover, these aristocratic youths “had a great deal of leisure, and in the enclosed hot-house atmosphere of these great houses, love intrigues flourished as nowhere else.”[50]

Rather than “a monolithic set of regulations for love affairs” and “a code of behavior solemnly and universally observed,” the "game of love" is a modern term to describe the diverse range of “courtly styles, idioms, and conventions” available “to be read in a range of literal, playful, and ironic ways, depending on the context.”[51] Since it facilitated the expression of love in a formal and refined manner, poetry, in particular the lyric form, was the field on which much of the courtly "game of love" was played:

Poetry mattered to the Courtier . . . . Poetry was an instrument of social converse and entertainment, sometimes in the form of a masque, sometimes the subject of an informal parlour game or competition of wit. Poetry could be used as a compliment or comment on virtually every happening in life, from birth to death, from the presentation of a gift to the launching of a war; it was the agent of flattery, ego titillation, love-making, condolence. Poetry was the medium of the communication of experience, the means for the resolution of personal syntheses and the expression of personal analyses.[52]

Julia Boffey has suggested, as the Devonshire Manuscript was “passed around” among the “men and women whose amorous relationships in ‘real life’ are partially documented,” that “it is hardly surprising that they chose for the most part to copy into it lyrics on the subject of love.”[53] For those aristocratic youths so inclined, collecting courtly lyrics was “a literary and social parlour game with strong erotic undertones,” since the compilation and circulation of verse miscellanies such as the Devonshire Manuscript, “just like the autograph book circulated in Jane Austen’s Emma,” could be “used as tools of courtship.”[54] Verse writing, then, was “accounted a central grace of courting,” but women participating in the ‘game of love’ faced social restraints that placed them in a potentially awkward situation. On the one hand, direct engagement in such “courtly repartee” could be perceived as a violation of Christian moral codes in which “a woman’s chastity was closely aligned with her silence and self-effacement.”[55] On the other hand, as Ann Rosalind Jones has observed, the prescribed social role of women at court required each “to be a member of the chorus prompting men to bravery in tournaments and eloquence in conversation . . . to be a witty and informed participant in dialogues whose subject was most often love.”[56] Courtly women were not only expected to actively participate, but also, as Catherine Bates has argued, to perform the role of arbiter: in the "game of love," where “a whole field of action becomes a tableau of encrypted signs to be read . . . the point of the game is to keep everyone guessing, and . . . the question of whether and what things mean is ultimately in the arbitration of the woman.”[57]

Contemporary conduct manuals recognized the precarious position in which such disparate social expectations placed courtly women. In Baldassarre Castiglione’s The Courtier, a manual contrived to “shape in woordes a good Courtyer,” women are advised to achieve a balance within the prescribed limits:

Accompanying with sober and quiet maners and with the honestye that must alwayes be a stay to all her deedes, a readie liuelines of wit, wherby she may declare herselfe far wide from all dulnesse: but with such a kinde of goodnes, that she may be esteamed no lesse chaste, wise and courteise, then pleasant, feat conceited & sobre: & therfore must she kepe a certein meane very hard, & (in a maner) diriued of contrarie matters, and come iust to certein limites, but not passe them.[58]

The desire on the part of courtly women to maintain this “certein meane” whilst treading the “dangerous tightrope . . . between wit and scandal,”[59] coupled with the “relative privacy of manuscript transmission and the relative hostility of print culture to women’s writing,” surely “affected women’s choice of the manuscript medium of communication.”[60] To avoid what J. W. Saunders influentially termed “the stigma of print,”[61] courtly women writers “shared the prejudices towards print of their male counterparts”[62] and found in manuscript publication an attractive alternative, on account of its “social status, its personal appeal, relative privacy, freedom from government control, its cheapness, and its ability to make works quickly available to a select audience.”[63]

Although manuscript publication potentially offered a greater degree of privacy and control over circulation than print, “it would be misleading,” Michelle O’Callaghan has suggested, “to distinguish between the two by confining manuscript publication to a private sphere and reserving the public sphere for print.”[64] Edith Snook has noted that “manuscripts were not always absolutely private,” and that “textual exchange of handwritten texts could constitute an important part of social relationships.”[65] Similarly, Margaret M. J. Ezell has argued that “once we leave behind the notion of authorship as an act defined by solitary alienation and the text as an isolated literary landmark,” we can better appreciate “writing for women and men” as both “a social activity as well as a means of private consolation.” [66]Moreover, on this “vexed question of distinction between public and private,” Elizabeth Clarke has asserted that “manuscript writing in the early modern period cannot possibly be labeled private,” since “scribal publication continued to be an important social and political phenomenon alongside print culture well into the seventeenth century.”[67]

“Poems produced within a manuscript culture,” Michelle O’Callaghan has argued, “actively participate in the social world in which they were produced and retain the impression of this environment.”[68] The Devonshire Manuscript certainly evidences its origins and circulation within the early Tudor court of Henry VIII, a body that was profoundly concerned with public and private performances of political loyalty and submission. Oftentimes these "performances" were realized in the form of texts produced especially for circulation at various levels within this specialized economy. As Seth Lerer has argued, “courtly verse” and other “literary products” of the early Tudor period routinely

expose confusions and conflations among poetry and drama, private letters and public performances . . . . where the private acts itself before a spectatorial community, and where even the King’s chamber or the Queen’s bed could become the stages for the play of service.[69]

The Devonshire Manuscript reflects this oscillation between public and private, between personal and communal: Within its pages, the private became public, the public was treated as private, and both were treated as deeply political.

That the production of literature during the Tudor period inescapably possessed a political dimension is well established: “One striking phenomenon about early Tudor literature is that it was almost invariably concerned with politics, either directly or indirectly, and that this political bearing had a major impact on the nature of its literary forms.” Given that the overwhelming majority “of the writers of this period were courtiers and servants of the crown (or desired to be so), or else were directly affected by decisions taken at court,”[70] public and private literary production was both implicated within and producing of political context. In place of the direct statement and (possibly) politically charged declarative utterance, literary expression instead tended towards the opposite: “Social codes and political discretion determined that many of the things most writers desired to say could not be said openly, and as a result early Tudor literature is, above all, dramatized and indirect.”[71] Poetry became yet another venue for the performance of public and private roles within the royal court.

The circulation of love lyrics produced at court dramatizes the highly unstable division between public and private writing. The high dynastic stakes involved in the “literary and social parlour game” of which erotically-charged courtly love lyrics were a vital constitutive element especially encouraged the courtier-poet “to be ‘covert’ and ‘secree’—in a word, to ‘dissimulate.’”[72] John Stevens, for example, highlights the motivation for the “oblique tone of many courtly love lyrics” as one of “covert communication . . . . or the pretence of it”:

The courtly love-lyric is, perhaps in essence, an enigma—a riddling, or dark, way of conveying your thoughts to someone who is, or pretends to be, your lover . . . . The lyric, although intended to be read or sung in society, to a present and observing audience, was another gambit of dissimulation. It was a public utterance which had, or pretended to have, a private meaning.[73]

Stevens’ example offers a possible context for the appropriation and repurposing of several medieval texts apparent within the Devonshire Manuscript, most noticeably the verses from Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde. As pointed out above, these lines illustrate the fundamentally social nature of the text. They also, however, point to the need for occlusion and strategy within the social context of the Henrican court. Seth Lerer has argued persuasively that these excerpts illustrate how both Thomas Howard and Margaret Douglas were inscribed into the text of the Devonshire Manuscript: “If Thomas Howard represents . . . the Troilan lover, Margaret Douglas had lived as the object of personal desire and political exchange.”[74] In his final analysis of the Devonshire Mansucript, Lerer states that the Chaucerian excerpts

illustrate the pitfalls of impersonation, the dangers of being inscribed into the narratives of surreptitious love. For Margaret Douglas, and perhaps for Thomas Howard—living on in letters and in poems, transcribed into the accounts of chronicle, examination, and diplomacy—all the earth is, indeed, parchment scribable.[75]

As the historically recorded aftermath of the Douglas-Howard marriage shows, the necessity for concealment and obfuscation within intra-courtly relations was far from a simple matter of style. The consequences for those who ran afoul of royal will could be dire, and that will was sometimes difficult to discern.

For those closest to the King, navigating this treacherous terrain was exceptionally fraught:

To achieve a stable relationship with a master like Henry VIII was not easy: ‘Ricco, feroce et cupido di gloria’ [rich, fierce, and greedy for glory], as Niccolò Machiavelli had described the English king, he was capable alike of wrath and benign forgiveness, of diabolical cunning and childlike niaveté.[76]

A great deal of this “diabolical cunning,” it can be presumed, was oriented inwards towards the court itself. John Archer has pointed out that nowhere was political maneuvering more vital than “at the court of one’s own prince, who created and encouraged differences and jealousies among his servants, differences that he observed, and that caused them to watch each other in turn.”[77] The Howard-Douglas marriage discovery, by its very existence, operates within this context: If the sovereign rules effectively by incessantly and recursively dividing and monitoring the emergence of powerful groups opposed to the throne, then the unknown marriage of Margaret Douglas and Thomas Howard represents a massive failure of the surveillance apparatus. In keeping with the character of the Tudor court, the two were almost immediately framed as a dangerously powerful faction angling for the throne.

Characterized by Lacey Baldwin Smith as a “baffling composite of shifting silhouette,” Henry VIII occupied the center of an unstable constellation of shifting power relations, personal and political intrigue, and anxieties over a future Tudor dynasty.[78] In a “culture of surveillance that was chiefly defined by life at court,” where both external and internal monitoring were “influenced by practices and habits of thought cultivated at court,” the courtly lyric and the miscellany were both symptomatic of and constitutive of court culture.[79] Both modes of literary communication operated as complex public/private utterances constructed to simultaneously impart and cloud meaning. They represent the courtly environment in microcosm.

The Devonshire Manuscript, with its collection of courtly lyrics, its pastiche of medieval and contemporary poetry, its density of textual voices, its often uncertain authorship and attribution, is a powerful example of how textual production and interpretation were foundational to those communicating within the Tudor court. A multivalent text, as Bradley Irish has demonstrated, the "Devonshire MS reflects and refracts the gender dynamics of the contemporary Henrician court" [80]. Contending that the “courtly life had always been a show, and the literature of courtliness has always been appreciated for its arabesques of the deceitful,” Lerer pointedly names the entire apparatus a “book of lies.”[81]

Current and Popular ContextsEdit

While mainstream fascination with Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and the Tudor court has remained fairly consistent throughout the past several decades, recent years have seen a decided upsurge in interest in the period. Within popular culture, Showtime’s critically acclaimed series The Tudors and Hilary Mantel’s 2009 Man Booker Prize winning novel Wolf Hall signal a resurgent fascination with the historical personalities of early modern aristocracy.

The Tudors incorporates several contributors to the Devonshire Manuscript: Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and Sir Edmund Knyvett (in the form of Sir Anthony Knivert, a fictional composite) figure as fictional as characters in The Tudors. Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (brother to Lord Thomas Howard of the Douglas-Howard lyrics), Margaret Tudor (mother to Lady Margaret Douglas), and Anne Boleyn feature prominently in various seasons of the show, dramatizing the centrality of the Devonshire Manuscript coterie to contemporary court politics.[82]

Although The Tudors is perhaps the best known manifestation of interest in the Henrican period in current popular culture, Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall fictionalizes many of the same characters and circumstances. Colin Burrows, in his review of the novel, notes that “Mantel’s chief method is to pick out tableaux vivants from the historical record—which she has worked over with great care—and then to suggest that they have an inward aspect which is completely unlike the version presented in history books.” In his view, the “chief running joke” of the novel is that “people and things which come to be of immense historical significance are within the novel unobserved and peripheral.” Burrows’ chief example of this is that “Mary Boleyn loses her book of love poems, and then remembers that her cousin Mary Shelton has it. This book of poems is presumably what is now known as the Devonshire Manuscript, the richest surviving record of early Tudor poetry and of the literary activities of early 16th-century women.”[83] Transformed into a fictional text, the Devonshire Manuscript is deployed yet again in a game of show and tell where only those “in the know” can interpret and shape its significance.


  1. Following Peter Beal’s definition of a verse miscellany as “a manuscript, a compilation of predominantly verse texts, or extracts from verse texts, by different authors and usually gleaned from different sources,” in A Dictionary of English Manuscript Terminology, 1450–2000 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 429. Beal lists D as a pertinent example of a verse miscellany (430).
  2. A modernized-spelling, The Devonshire Manuscript of Courtly Verse: A Woman’s Book, edited by Elizabeth Heale, is forthcoming in The Other Voices in Early Modern Europe series published by University of Chicago Press.
  3. A. K. Foxwell, ed., The Poems of Sir Thomas Wiat (London: University of London Press, 1914), I: 251-355; Kenneth Muir, ed. Collected Poems of Sir Thomas Wyatt (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1949), 91-155; Kenneth Muir and Patricia Thomson, ed. Collected Poems of Sir Thomas Wyatt (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1969), 189-236; hereafter referred to as sigla F, M, and M & T respectively. Many of the remaining poems, unattributed to Wyatt, have been transcribed and published in Kenneth Muir, “Unpublished Poems in the Devonshire Manuscript,” Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical Society 6.4 (1947): 253-82, hereafter referred to as sigil MU. George Frederick Nott’s important early two-volume edition, The Works of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Elder (London: Longham, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1815-16), hereafter sigil N, does not include diplomatic transcriptions of verses in D. The numerous errors in transcription made in these earlier publications are discussed in the Textual Introduction and are glossed in the critical apparatus.
  4. Arthur F. Marotti, Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995), 40. Nott’s misguided statement, that the manuscript “contains Wyatt’s pieces almost exclusively” (N, II: vii), or Muir’s comment, “it is not always easy to decide whether a poem [in the manuscript] is written by a successful imitator or by Wyatt himself in an uninspired mood” (MU, 253) are characteristic of the sort of dismissive author-centric views taken to task by Marotti.
  5. Colin Burrow, “How to Twist a Knife,” London Review of Books 31.8 (2009): 3, 5.
  6. Arthur F. Marotti, “Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric,” in New Ways of Looking at Old Texts: Papers of the Renaissance English Text Society, 1958–1991, ed. W. Speed Hill (Binghamton: Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1993), 209-221, at 212.
  7. We have interpreted “paratext” broadly, as articulated in Gérard Genette, Paratext: The Thresholds of Textuality, trans. Jane E. Lewin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).
  8. Scholars have only cautiously asserted an approximate number of items preserved in D: “the number of poems in the manuscript can only be given as approximately 184” (Southall, "Devonshire," 143); “the manuscript preserves about 185 items of verse, but it is impossible to obtain an exact figure as many of these are fragments, medieval extracts or the like, and others are divided up differently by various editors” (Remley, "Mary Shelton," 47).
  9. The medieval origin of these texts was identified by Ethel Seaton, “ ‘The Devonshire Manuscript’ and Its Medieval Fragments,” RES, n.s., 7 (1956): 55-56. The use of William Thynne’s 1532 edition of Chaucer as the source for that poet’s verse in D was first noted by Richard Harrier, “A Printed Source for ‘The Devonshire Manuscript,’” RES, n.s., 11 (1960): 54.
  10. As suggested in Southall, “Devonshire Manuscript,” 143. See the biographical entry on Anne Boleyn for a more detailed discussion of her involvement with the manuscript.
  11. The most recent examination of the hands in D is that of Helen Baron, “Mary (Howard) Fitzroy’s Hand,” esp. Table 1. See also the earlier findings of Edward A. Bond, “Wyatt’s Poems,” The Athenaeum 2274 (1874): 654-55. The present edition follows Baron’s findings, confirmed by independent investigation, as outlined in the Textual Introduction. See Contributors to the Devonshire Manuscript for brief biographies of each of the identified hands and authors.
  12. Marotti, “Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric,” 212.
  13. The relevance of the Howard-Douglas affair to this sequence in D was first noted by Bond, “Wyatt’s Poems,” 654-55.
  14. It is unclear whether the hand belongs to Lord Thomas Howard, since no independent examples of his hand have survived. Bond argued that Lord Thomas entered the series of poems into the volume during his imprisonment in the Tower (655). The alternative theory, that the epistolary verses were collected and entered into D as a group later, is proposed and dismissed by Baron (327).
  15. Scholars have traditionally followed Bond’s earlier assertion that the name “margrt” is scrawled at the end of the poem (f. [26v]), perhaps attributing authorship: Baron, 332; Harrier, Canon, 25; and Elizabeth Heale, Wyatt, Surrey and Early Tudor Poetry (London: Longman, 1998), 42. Independent examination of the manuscript suggests that the “scrawl” is only partially legible, with only the letter forms “ma”, “r”, and “h” clearly identifiable. As such, it may refer either to Mar[y] H[oward] or to Mar[garet] H[oward], the latter symbolically adopting her husband’s surname following their betrothal. An entry found on the flyleaf (f. [1r]) is similarly unclear: in faint ink, “margeret how” is possibly inscribed (Baron, 331; Bond, “Wyatt’s Poems,” 655); however, Remley has argued that the “hurried and surreptitious mark” was in fact made by Mary Shelton, reading it as “Mary Sh—lt—” (“Mary Shelton,” 54).
  16. Batman vppon Bartholome, his booke De Proprietatibus rerum, newly corrected, enlarged, and ammended, compiled by Steven Batman and translated by John Trevisa (London, 1582), f. 178r. Edward Phillips notes in his dictionary, The New World of English Words (London, 1658), “A Mue for Hawks” is “a kind of cage or aviary where Hawks are kept when they change their feathers” and “comes from the French word Muer, to change” (f. 2C4v).
  17. f. [30r], ll. 5-7
  18. Remley, “Mary Shelton,” 52.
  19. See Morris Palmer Tilley, A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950), S393; and, W. G. Smith and F. P. Wilson, Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970), S393. John Heywood’s Prouerbes (London, 1549) is usually cited as the earliest usage in print.
  20. Heale, “Women and the Courtly Love Lyric,” 305.
  21. Catherine Bates, “Wyatt, Surrey, and the Henrician Court,” in Early Modern English Poetry: A Critical Companion, ed. Patrick Cheney, Andrew Hadfield, and Garrett Sullivan, Jr. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 39-47, at 41.
  22. Bates, “Wyatt, Surrey, and the Henrician Court,” 40-41.
  23. The poem is entered in D by an unidentified hand (H2), and is also preserved in the Blage Manuscript (Trinity College, Dublin, MS 160, f. 159r). Modern editors of Wyatt’s poems commonly attribute the poem to him (F, I: 257-58; M, 96-97; M & T, 176-77; N, II: 590; R, 268-69). However, this attribution has not been universally accepted: Harrier argues that the poem “must be excluded from the Wyatt canon” since it “may be by Thomas Clere” (Canon, 41, 45), and Joost Daalder silently excludes the poem from his edition of the Collected Poems (London: Oxford University Press, 1975). Julia Boffey has argued the author is Mary Shelton, mistaking Shelton’s signed comment at the end of the poem as an attribution: “Women Authors and Women’s Literacy in Fourteenth- and Fifteenth-Century England,” in Women and Literature in Britain, 1150–1500, ed. Carol M. Meale, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 159-82, at 173. See also the discussion in H. A. Mason, Editing Wyatt (Cambridge: Cambridge Quarterly, 1972), 126.
  24. As per Baron, 331; Remley gives “ondesyerd” in “Mary Shelton,” 50.
  25. As per F, I: 258.
  26. As per Heale, “Women and the Courtly Love Lyric,” 301. Heale gives “ondesiard fansies / requier no hiar” in Wyatt, 43; and “ondesyred fansies / require no hyar” in “ ‘Desiring Women Writing’: Female Voices and Courtly ‘Balets’ in Some Early Tudor Manuscript Albums,” in Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Writing: Selected Papers from the Trinity/Trent Colloquium, ed. Victoria E. Burke and Jonathan Gibson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), 9-31, at 21.
  27. “Searwes” (device) is also possible, but unlikely. Alternatively rendering the word as “fansies” or “favours” is less problematic, but equally less probable.
  28. S. P. Zitner, “Truth and Mourning in a Sonnet by Surrey,” ELH 50.3 (1983): 509-26, at 513.
  29. Remley, “Mary Shelton,” 50.
  30. Heale, “ ‘Women Desiring Writing,’” 21.
  31. Harold Love and Arthur F. Marotti, “Manuscript Transmission and Circulation,” in The Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature, ed. David Loewenstein and Janel Mueller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 55-80, at 63.
  32. Jennifer Summit, Lost Property: The Woman Writer and English Literary History, 1380–1589 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 2.
  33. Jerome McGann, "The Monks and the Giants: Textual and Bibliographical Studies and the Interpretation of Literary Works,” in Textual Criticism and Literary Interpretation, ed. Jerome McGann (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985) 180-99, at 198.
  34. Jerome McGann, The Beauty of Inflections: Literary Investigations in Historical Method and Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 79, 82. See also his earlier study, A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983).
  35. D. F. McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts (London: British Library, 1986).
  36. Leah S. Marcus, Unediting the Renaissance: Shakespeare, Marlowe, Milton (New York: Routledge, 1996). On “unediting” as the rejection of critical editions in preference to the unmediated study of originals or facsimiles, see Randall McLeod, “UnEditing Shakespeare,” Sub-Stance 33-34 (1982): 26-55.
  37. Representative studies include: Margreta de Grazia and Peter Stallybrass, “The Materiality of the Shakespearean Text,” Shakespeare Quarterly 44 (1993): 255-83; David Scott Kastan, “Shakespeare after Theory,” Textus 9.2 (1996): 357-74, and Shakespeare and the Book (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001); Sonia Massai, Shakespeare and the Rise of the Editor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Jeffrey Masten, Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), and “More or Less: Editing the Collaborative,” Shakespeare Studies 29 (2001): 109-31; Stephen Orgel, “What is a Text?” Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 24 (1984): 3-6, and “Acting Scripts, Performing Texts,” in Crisis in Editing: Texts of the English Renaissance, ed. Randall McLeod (New York: AMS Press, 1994), 251-94; and, W. B. Worthen, Shakespeare and the Authority of Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). See also the many useful essays in A New History of Early English Drama, ed. John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997).
  38. Representative studies include Elaine V. Beilin, Redeeming Eve: Women Writers of the English Renaissance (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987); Margaret J. M. Ezell, Writing Women’s Literary History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), and Social Authorship and the Advent of Print (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999); Barbara K. Lewalski, Writing Women in Jacobean England (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993); Kim Walker, Women Writers of the English Renaissance (New York: Twayne, 1996); and, Wendy Wall, The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993). See also the following representative essay collections: The Renaissance Englishwoman in Print: Counterbalancing the Canon, ed. Anne M. Haselkorn and Betty S. Travitsky (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1990); Silent but for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators, and Writers of Religious Works, ed. Margaret P. Hannay (Kent: Kent State University Press, 1985); Teaching Tudor and Stuart Women Writers, ed. Susanne Woods and Margaret P. Hannay (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2000); Women and Literature in Britain, 1500–1700, ed. Helen Wilcox (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain, ed. Mary E. Burke, Jane Donawerth, Linda L. Dove, and Karen Nelson (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2000). Notable editions of early modern women’s writing include Early Modern Women Poets: An Anthology, ed. Jane Stevenson and Peter Davidson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001); Early Modern Women’s Writing: An Anthology, 1560–1700, ed. Paul Salzman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); Female and Male Voices in Early Modern England, ed. Betty S. Travitsky and Anne Lake Prescott (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000); Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth Century Women’s Verse, ed. Germaine Greer, Susan Hastings, Jeslyn Medoff, and Melinda Sansone (London: Virago, 1988); “Lay By Your Needles Ladies, Take the Pen”: Writing Women in England, 1500–1700, ed. Suzanne Trill, Kate Chedgzoy, and Melanie Osborne (New York: St. Martin’s, 1997); The Paradise of Women: Writings by Englishwomen of the Renaissance, ed. Betty S. Travitsky (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1980); Reading Early Modern Women: An Anthology of Texts in Manuscript and Print, 1550–1700, ed. Helen Ostovich and Elizabeth Sauer (New York: Routledge, 2004); Women Poets of the Renaissance, ed. Marion Wynne-Davies (London: Dent, 1998).; and, Women Writers in Renaissance England, ed. Randall Martin (New York: Longman, 1997). On women as readers, see Heidi Brayman Hackel, Reading Material in Early Modern England: Print, Gender, and Literacy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
  39. Margaret J. M. Ezell, “Women and Writing,” in A Companion to Early Modern Women’s Writing, ed. Anita Pacheco (Malden: Blackwell, 2002), 77-94, at 79.
  40. Elizabeth Clarke, “Women’s Manuscript Miscellanies in Early Modern England,” in Teaching Tudor and Stuart Women Writers, ed. Susanne Woods and Margaret P. Hannay (New York: MLA, 2000), 52-60, at 53.
  41. That is, out of the manuscript’s 194 textual items, 129 are verses attributed to Thomas Wyatt.
  42. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Workes of Geffray Chaucer, ed. William Thynne (London, 1532).
  43. John E. Stevens, Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court (London: Methuen, 1961), 188.
  44. Remley, “Mary Shelton,” 55.
  45. Heale, “Women and the Courtly Love Lyric,” 306-7.
  46. Heale, “Women and the Courtly Love Lyric,” 306.
  47. Remley, “Mary Shelton,” 56, 42. While Remley argues that Mary Shelton is the copyist of these medieval fragments, the present edition instead concurs with Baron’s findings that the verses were entered by hand TH2, not MS. See the Textual Introduction for a discussion of these and other discrepancies.
  48. Heale, “Women and the Courtly Love Lyric,” 307.
  49. The standard discussion of the “game of love” is Stevens, Music and Poetry, 154-202. See also Roger Boase, The Origin and Meaning of Courtly Love: A Critical Study of European Scholarship (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1977); David Burnley, Courtliness and Literature in Medieval England (New York: Longman, 1998); and, Bernard O’Donoghue, The Courtly Love Tradition (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1982).
  50. Lawrence Stone, The Family, Sex and Marriage in England, 1500–1800 (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), 103-4.
  51. Introduction, Troilus and Criseyde, ed. Barry A. Windeatt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), xxiii, n. 13.
  52. J. W. Saunders, “From Manuscript to Print: A Note on the Circulation of Poetic MSS in the Sixteenth Century,” Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society 6.8 (1951): 507-28, at 509 (emphasis original).
  53. Julia Boffey, Manuscripts of English Courtly Love Lyrics in the Later Middle Ages (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 1985), 8.
  54. Janine Rogers, “Riddling Erotic Identity in Early English Lyrics,” in And Never Know the Joy: Sex and the Erotic in English Poetry, ed. C. C. Barfoot (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006), 1-12, at 8.
  55. Heale, Wyatt, Surrey, and Early Tudor Poetry, 40-41.
  56. Ann Rosalind Jones, “Nets and Bridles: Early Modern Conduct Books and Sixteenth-Century Women’s Lyrics,” in The Ideology of Conduct: Essays on Literature and the History of Sexuality, ed. Nancy Armstrong and Leonard Tennenhouse (London: Methuen, 1987), 39-72, at 43.
  57. Bates, “Wyatt, Surrey, and the Henrician Court,” 38.
  58. Baldassarre Castiglione, The Courtyer of Count Baldessar Castilio, trans. Thomas Hoby (London, 1561), sigs. C1r, 2B3v.
  59. Heale, Wyatt, Surrey, and Early Tudor Poetry, 41.
  60. Marotti, Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric, 61.
  61. J. W. Saunders, “The Stigma of Print: A Note on the Social Bases of Tudor Poetry,” Essays in Criticism 1.2 (1951): 139-64. For an important challenge to Saunders’ view, see Steven W. May, “Tudor Aristocrats and the Mythical ‘Stigma of Print,’” Renaissance Papers 10 (1980): 11-18.
  62. Michelle O’Callaghan, “Publication: Print and Manuscript,” in A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, ed. Michael Hattaway (Malden: Blackwell, 2000) 81-94, at 83. As Margaret J. M. Ezell has suggested in The Patriarch’s Wife: Literary Evidence and the History of the Family (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987), women’s choice of manuscript was not simply an issue of gender, but of class and “conservatism, the preference for an older form of literary transmission which left control of the text in the author’s hand rather than signing it over to the bookseller” (100).
  63. H. R. Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts, 1558–1640 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 15. See also Harold Love’s important study, Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). Love maintains that there were “significant differences between the kinds of community formed by the exchange of manuscript” and those of print, “the most important … that the printed text, being available as an article of commerce, had no easy way of excluding readers” (183).
  64. O’Callaghan, “Publication: Print and Manuscript,” 83. On the unclear distinction between public and private modes of production during this period, see also Lena Cowen Orlin, Private Matters and Public Culture in Post-Reformation England (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994).
  65. Edith Snook, Women, Reading, and the Cultural Politics of Early Modern England (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), 146.
  66. Ezell, “Women and Writing,” 92.
  67. Elizabeth Clarke, “Women’s Manuscript Miscellanies in Early Modern England,” in Teaching Tudor and Stuart Women Writers, ed. Susanne Woods and Margaret P. Hannay (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2000), 52-60, at 57-58.
  68. O’Callaghan, “Publication: Print and Manuscript,” 83.
  69. Seth Lerer, Courtly Letters in the Age of Henry VIII (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 38.
  70. Alistair Fox, Politics and Literature in the Reigns of Henry VI and Henry VIII (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989), 3.
  71. Fox, Politics and Literature, 3.
  72. Rogers, “Riddling Erotic Identity in Early English Lyrics,” 8; John Stevens, Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court (London: Methuen, 1961), 216.
  73. John Stevens, Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court (London: Methuen, 1961), 216. Italics in original.
  74. Lerer, Courtly Letters in the Age of Henry VIII, 153.
  75. Lerer, Courtly Letters in the Age of Henry VIII, 156-57.
  76. Narasingha P. Sil, Tudor Placement and Statesmen: Select Case Histories (Cranbury, Associated University Presses, 2001), 20. Translation in Sil.
  77. John Michael Archer, Sovereignty and Intelligence: Spying and Court Culture in the English Renaissance (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1993), 8.
  78. Lacey Baldwin Smith, Henry VIII: The Mask of Royalty (London, Cape, 1971), 13.
  79. Archer, Sovereignty and Intelligence: Spying and Court Culture in the English Renaissance, 3-4.
  80. B. J. Irish, “Gender and Politics in the Henrician Court: The Douglas-Howard Lyrics in the Devonshire Manuscript.” Renaissance Quarterly. 64.1 (2011): 79-114, 81
  81. Lerer, Courtly Letters in the Age of Henry VIII, 1.
  82. “Full Cast and Crew for ‘The Tudors,”
  83. Colin Burrow, "How to Twist a Knife." Rev. of Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. London Review of Books 31.8 (2009): 3-5.
Last modified on 4 March 2014, at 17:15