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The Experience of PoetryFrom Homer's Listeners to Shakespeare's Readers$
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Derek Attridge

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198833154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198833154.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2022

Early Tudor Poetry: Courtliness and Print

Early Tudor Poetry: Courtliness and Print

(p.257) 11Early Tudor Poetry: Courtliness and Print
The Experience of Poetry

Derek Attridge

Oxford University Press

After noting the evidence for the public performance of poetry in Continental Europe, this chapter turns to the impact of print on English poetry: from the late fifteenth century, the printers Caxton and de Worde gave readers a new way to experience poems. At the court of Henry VIII, Skelton exploited both manuscript and print. The Devonshire manuscript, which circulated around Henry’s courtiers, is discussed, as is Tottel’s 1557 Songes and Sonettes, whose cachet lay partly in its making the private poetry of the elite available to a large public. Another popular collection was A Mirror for Magistrates, in which a gathering of poets impersonating famous tragic victims of the past was staged. Although there were signs of a suppler use of metre, the 1560s and 1570s were characterized by highly regular verse. The most skilled poet of this period, Gascoigne, was also responsible for a pathbreaking treatise on poetry.

Keywords:   print, Caxton, de Worde, Skelton, Devonshire manuscript, Tottel, Surrey, Wyatt, A Mirror for Magistrates, Gascoigne

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