Duff, E. Gordon. A Century of the English Book Trade. . . .
Eolcroft, Pa.: Eolcroft Library Editions, 1972. Steinberg, S. H. Five Hundred Years of Printing. Rev. ed. London: British Library, 1996.
Christine E Cooper
QUATORZAIN From the French quatorze (fourteen), a quatorzain is a poem similar to the sonnet. It consists of 14 rhymed iambic lines divided into two tercets (a group of three lines of verse) and two quatrains (a group of four lines of verse), and always ending in a couplet (unlike sonnets, which do not always do so). Technically, most of the Elizabethan sonnet sequences were truly composed of quatorzains, not sonnets, but few 16th-century poets made the distinction (an exception being Michael Drayton). Some critics also believe that Sir Philip Sidney employed the form deliberately in his collection Certain Sonnets, which contains a miscellany of forms. Later poets, such as John Donne, clarified the two forms.
QUATRAIN A four-line stanza composed of rhyming lines. The quatrain is the most common stan-zaic form used in English poetry. The sets of lines that make up the first four or eight lines of a SoNNET are also referred to as quatrains.
The most common rhyme schemes include: abac or abcb (ballad stanza, used also for hymns), aabb (double couplet), and abab (heroic quatrain, usually in iambic pentameter).
RALEIGH, SIR WALTER (SIR WALTER RALEGH) (ca. 1552-1618) Sir Walter Raleigh lived a varied and adventurous life—soldier, privateer, explorer, prisoner, and author. Born into a prosperous family at Hayes, a farmhouse in Barton, Devonshire, Raleigh attended oriel College, oxford, briefly before leaving to distinguish himself early in the French civil wars. A staunch Protestant, he fought on behalf of the Huguenots from 1569 until his return to England in 1572. In 1578, he began his naval career, joining his half brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, on an expedition. Soon afterward, Raleigh earned a command and distinguished himself in the Irish Wars. Returning to England in 1581, he quickly became a part of Queen Elizabeth I's inner circle.
The next years of Raleigh's life read like a catalogue of political success. He was elected to Parliament in 1584 and appointed captain of the Queen's Guard in 1587. As queen's adviser, he supported expeditions in 1585 and 1587 to the New World. However, his power and influence were greatly diminished in 1592 when his secret affair with and subsequent clandestine marriage to Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting, was discovered. Both were immediately imprisoned in the Tower of London, an occasion Raleigh examines in "The ocean To Cynthia."
The queen never forgave Raleigh completely, but she did need his naval skills. In 1593, Raleigh was released in order to pursue Spanish pirates and protect the interests of the English Crown. He also embarked on an expedition to Guiana, an account of which he published in 1596.
When Elizabeth died in 1603, Raleigh's prospects diminished, as he had a poor relationship with James I. Soon after James's ascension, Raleigh was accused of conspiring with Spain against the king, and he was once again imprisoned in the Tower. He remained there until 1617, when he persuaded James to allow him to captain a return expedition to Guiana. The voyage was a complete disaster—his son died, and Raleigh was disgraced. Fearing royal reprisal, Raleigh attempted to flee to France, but he was caught and, on october 29, 1618, executed for treason.
Raleigh is an interesting author. His early works include commendatory verses for George Gascoigne's The Steele Glas, composed while he was at oxford. These show precocious development not only of poetic skill but also of political prowess. His other poetic works include a number of short pieces, an elegy for his son, and the panygeric "The Ocean to Cynthia," written to placate the queen. Raleigh was more prolific in prose, undertaking the ambitious History of the World as well as his Travels to Guiana and an "apology" for his return to Guiana.
For quite some time, critical reception of Raleigh's poetry was devoted to establishing definitive authorship for his works. Another area of critical debate involves the completeness of "The ocean to Cynthia," fragments of which were found with the titles "The 21st [sic] and last booke of the ocean to Scinthia" and
"The end of the 22 Boock, entreatinge of Sorrow," leading to speculation that an immense epic had originally existed. Recent studies, however, have demonstrated that the titles were a ploy by Raleigh intended to please the queen. otherwise, most critical studies focus on political interpretations of Raleigh's poems, as well as its contribution to the studies of patronage.
See also "Lie, The"; "Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd, The;" "Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son"; "What Is Our Life?".
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