Further reading

Brown, Georgia E. "Breaking the Canon: Marlowe's Challenge to the Literary Status Quo in Hero and Leander." In Marlowe, History, and Sexuality: New Critical Essays on Christopher Marlowe, edited by Paul Whitfield White, 59-75. New York: AMS Press, 1998. -. "Marlowe's Poems and Classicism." In The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe, edited by Patrick Cheney, 106-126. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Cheney, Patrick, and Brian J. Striar. The Collected Poems of Christopher Marlowe. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Martz, Louis L., ed. Hero and Leander by Christopher Marlowe: A Facsimile of the First Edition. London 1598. New York: Johnson Reprint Organization; Washington: The Folger Shakespeare Library, 1972.

Bruce E. Brandt

HEROIC COUPLET This is a rhyming couplet written in iambic pentameter, a common poetic device used in EPICs and other heroic-themed poems.

HEYWOOD, JOHN See "Ballad on the Marriage of Philip and Mary, A."

HOCCLEVE, THOMAS (THOMAS OCC-LEVE) (ca. 1367-1426) Little is known of Thomas Hoccleve's early life, although it has been suggested that his family originated from the village of Hockliffe in Bedfordshire. From 1387, we have records of his employment as a clerk at the Privy Seal office in Westminster, where he was employed to copy writs, petitions, grants, and other official documents. In his free time, he pursued a career as a poet, although he never obtained the quasi-laureate status of his contemporary,

John Lydgate. Hoccleve claimed to have known Geoffrey Chaucer personally, which is plausible considering the older poet retired to Westminster in 1399.

Hoccleve shared lodgings with other clerks at the Chancery Inns before he was married, and he humorously recounted this period in his mock-penitential confession, La Male Règle (1405-06). The marriage, which he claims was a love match, probably occurred between 1399 and 1411. Although the position of a Privy Seal clerk was relatively secure in the later Middle Ages, Hoccleve frequently described himself as short of money, and a number of his poems included petitions to the king and other influential figures to ensure the clerks received their backdated annuity payments. He solicited aristocratic patronage for some of his poetry, a strategy that seems to have succeeded with his most popular poem, The Regiment of Princes (De Regimine Principum, 1411-12) a book of advice for the future Henry V, which survives in more than 40 manuscript copies. He may also have found occasional work as a scribe for the London book trade, judging by the appearance of his scribal hand in a production of John Gower's Confessio Amantis.

Sometime around 1414, Hoccleve suffered some kind of mental breakdown, which he refers to in a collection of poems, which his editors have titled the Series. The Series describes the poet's efforts to come to terms with his illness and its aftermath, and movingly details how the crowd turns away from him in London, still doubting whether he has recovered his sanity. The series is Hoccleve's most remarkable achievement and an extraordinarily self-reflective commentary on the act of poetic composition.

Thomas Hoccleve died in 1426, probably shortly after his retirement. His last years saw an increase in his literary activities as he copied out many of his poems and compiled his Formulary (1423-25), a set of scribal templates for the use of Privy Seal clerks, which has now become an invaluable resource for students of English administrative history.

Hoccleve's poetry has attracted scholarly attention because of the unusual extent to which he utilizes material from his own life in the presentation of his author-narrators. unfortunately, this led some scholars to assume a straightforward correspondence between

Hoccleve the writer and his poetic persona, an anxious, inept, and rather pitiful figure. While they have been more sensitive to the complexities of literary invention at work in Hoccleve's self-portrait, later critics have generally centered on the topics of madness, autobiography, and subjectivity when exploring his influence on the world of letters. This has tended to reinforce the image of the poet as a victim or misfit, either as a strangely self-conscious writer in a medieval world (although this presupposes that self-consciousness is an early modern development) or as a man sidelined from society by mental illness. Recent work, however, has sought to redress the balance through a revaluation of Hoccleve's literary talents.

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