Eisken, Beth Wynne. " 'To the Angell Spirit . . .' Mary Sidney's entry into the 'World of Words.'" In The Renaissance Englishwoman in Print: Counterbalancing the Canon, edited by Anne M. Haselkorn and Betty S. Travitsky, 263-275. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1990. Hannay, Margaret P. "'Doo What Men May Sing': Mary Sidney and the Tradition of Admonitory Dedication." In Silent But for the word: Tudor women as Patrons, Translators, and Writers of Religious Works, edited by Margaret P. Hannay, 151-165. Kent: Ohio State University Press, 1985.
"TO THE THRICE-SACRED QUEEN ELIZABETH" Mary Sidney Herbert, countess OF Pembroke (1599) This dedicatory poem by
Mary Sidney Herbert prefaced her translations of the Psalms in 1599, along with "To Thee Pure Sprite." "To the Thrice-Sacred Queen Elizabeth" reflects the political tensions between the Sidney family and Queen Elizabeth. Herbert begins her poem in a traditional fashion by flattering Elizabeth with appeals to the queen's "happy greatness" and her able mind. The poet describes Elizabeth's position, strength, and goodness as divinely granted, and intimates that her will affects the entirety of Europe. The tone of the poem changes, however, as Herbert moves from praise of Queen Elizabeth to a lament for her late brother, Sir Philip Sidney. She mourns her loss and says that she cannot "name whom sighing signs extend" (l. 25). She tells Elizabeth that her brother started the translation of the Psalms (now known as the Sidnean Psalms), and that she now finishes what he started. Herbert's and Sidney's work is a "livery robe" that she now presents to the queen, and she asks, "For in our work what bring we but thine own?" (l. 41).
Herbert next compares the biblical David's "great conquests" with Elizabeth's "greater blessed." She emphasizes Elizabeth's great power in stanza 11: Men obey a woman, and "Kings on a Queene enforst their states to lay" (l. 81). This comparison to David is quite typical, and many poets dedicated translations of the Psalms to Elizabeth. This dedicatory poem therefore has a seemingly typical tone: Herbert praises Queen Elizabeth through a comparison to David and hopes that her writing may be worthy of the queen. However, as critics have pointed out, Herbert's dedication addresses Elizabeth politically and does not engage in the typical praise of her beauty and chastity.
other critics suggest that despite her praise of the queen, Herbert reveals her frustration with what she views as Elizabeth's lack of support for the English army in its fight against Catholic Spain. Herbert writes that what is English is "Where wit, where art, where all that is divine / Conceived best, and best defended lies" (ll. 47-48). She praises her brother's defense of the Protestant cause and England and believes that because he fought bravely and gave his life for his country, Elizabeth should "do what men may sing" (l. 96) by providing more financial support to the Protestant cause.
See also Even now that Care.
The Collected Works of Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, Vol. 1, edited by Michael G. Brennan, Margeret P. Hannay, and Noel J. Kinnamon, 92-101. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998. Hannay, Margaret P. "Doo What Men May Sing: Mary Sidney and the Tradition of Admonitory Dedication." In Silent but for the Word, edited by Margaret P. Hannay, 149-165. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1985.
Kerri Lynn Allen tottel's miscellany (songes and sonnettes) (1557) In 1557, English publisher Richard Tottel (ca. 1530-ca. 1594) published a collection of 213 poems under the title Songes and Sonnettes. This collection, which we now know as Tottel's Miscellany, is significant for the study of 16th-century poetry because of the vast corpus of poems that it contains. Many of Sir Thomas Wyatt's poetry posthumously appeared in this volume, a fact that ensures the continual relevance of Tottel's Miscellany. In addition to preserving and disseminating many poems that had previously circulated only in manuscript, Tottel's Miscellany had a remarkable impact on the print marketplace and generated huge waves of interest in compiling, printing, and reading miscellanies over the next 50 years.
Although the title page labels Henry Howard, earl of Surrey as its author, Tottel's Miscellany can hardly be described as having a single author—and in fact Surrey wrote only about one-fifth of the poems. Scattered throughout Tottel's Miscellany are poems by Howard, Thomas Wyatt, Nicholas Grimald, and many anonymous or "uncertain" authors. Like the many manuscript compilations, miscellanies, commonplace books, and anthologies that circulated throughout the century, Tottel's Miscellany showcases the writings of a large network of writers, and the poems included reflect vital cultural practices as well as exemplifying literary merits.
of course, the key difference between such manuscript texts and Tottel's Miscellany is a material one: Tottel's Miscellany appeared in print. As mentioned above, many of the poems published in Tottel's Miscellany were available in manuscript form. In fact, quite a few of the poems were written during the 1530s— nearly 30 years before the publication of Tottel's Miscellany. This temporal gap meant that the poems acquired new material, ideological, and literary contexts when they were presented in the volume.
It is difficult to overestimate the popularity of Tottel's Miscellany. After seven weeks, the book had already gone through three editions. During the next 30 years, it was issued seven more times. Because of the number of poems complied in Tottel's Miscellany, it might be described as the most significant published collection of verses that appeared during the mid-16th century. The miscellany gives us a sense of the wide variety of verse forms, themes, and subjects that were popular during this period. Moreover, Tottel's Miscellany was crucial to the wide dissemination of poetry written in the Petrarchan tradition (see Petrarch).
Hamrick, Stephen. "Tottel's Miscellany and the English Reformation." Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts 44, no. 4 (2002): 329-361. Pomeroy, Elizabeth. The Elizabethan Miscellanies: Their Development and Conventions. Berkeley: university of California Press, 1973. Wall, Wendy. The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993.
TOWER OF LONDON Begun by William the Conqueror shortly after the Norman Conquest, the Tower of London has served as royal residence, armory, treasury, fortress, and barracks. It is situated on the north shore of the Thames, a site that takes advantage of defensive construction dating back to Roman times, and it is probably best known for its function as a jail-house for important prisoners. The Tower has also been associated with the composition of numerous poems, many written within its walls, including some by Robert Southwell, Sir Walter Raleigh, Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth I), and many others.
The original 1066/67 castle was sited on one and a quarter acres, with the central White Tower as the focal point. over the years, the Tower was more than doubled in size. During Edward I's reign (1272-1307), a luxurious royal suite was added. In the Tudor era, political and social trends contributed to the decline of the Tower as a royal residence; instead, it became the home to government departments and continued as an infamous royal jail.
Some important historical events connected to the Tower include Richard Il's retreat there in 1381 during the Peasants' Revolt and his abdication in 1399; Henry Vl's murder in 1471; and the imprisonment and execution of Sir Thomas More in 1534-35 and of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second queen, in 1536.
Impey, Edward, and Geoffrey Parnell. The Tower of London: The Official Illustrated History. London: Merrell Publishers with Historic Royal Palaces, 2001. Lapper, Ivan, and Geoffrey Parnell. The Tower of London: A 2000-Year History. Botley: Osprey Publishing, 2000.
Carol E. Harding
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