Catalogue

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Courtly letters in the age of Henry VIII [electronic resource] : literary culture and the arts of deceit /
Seth Lerer.
imprint
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1997.
description
xiv, 252 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521590019
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1997.
isbn
0521590019
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
7883611
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 208-248) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-03-01:
Students of Tudor culture are familiar with the deadly anxieties that beset courtier authors during the reign of Henry VIII, anxieties that form the burden of an excellent chapter on Wyatt in Stephen Greenblatt's influential Renaissance Self-Fashioning (CH, May'81) and of many articles in learned journals. Lerer (Stanford Univ.) offers a new angle on Henrician courtier performativity, reading it through the lens of Chaucer's romance of Troilus and Creseyde. The crucial link turns out to be Chaucer's male bawd, Pandarus: "the generative figure of the early Tudor age, embodying the complicated and ultimately self-baffled artfulness of courtly life." This is a clever thesis, perhaps too clever. Lerer rides it hard, to the point of arguing that "the study of the early Tudor period is, in itself, an act of the Pandaric." Lerer manifests an unfortunate penchant for the word "surreptition," a term English and Latin have happily done without for centuries. But Lerer also offers some strong readings, especially of King Henry's love letters. And he comments well on manuscript collections of verse. This book belongs in libraries supporting graduate work in English literature and history. E. D. Hill Mount Holyoke College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Lerer also offers some strong readings, especially of King Henry's love letters. And he comments well on manuscript collections of verse. This book belongs in libraries supporting graduate work in English literature and history." E.D. Hill, Choice
"...Lerer has written an elegant book. His chapters are grounded in close readings of literary texts, and he has presented a nuanced, challenging argument in well-turned phrases free of theoretical jargon." Mary Hill Cole, Mary Baldwin College
"Lerer's is one of the most impressive of the volumes I've read."Frank Kermode in the London Review of Books
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1998
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Lerer's study of the origins of courtly poetry reveals the culture of spectatorship and voyeurism that shaped early Tudor English literary life. He also illustrates the centrality of the verse epistle to the construction of subjectivity.
Description for Bookstore
Seth Lerer reveals the culture of spectatorship and voyeurism that shaped early Tudor English literary life. Through close readings of early Tudor poetry, court drama, letters, anthologies and printed books, Lerer illuminates a world of displayed bodies, surreptitious letters, and transgressive performances.
Description for Library
This revisionary study of the origins of courtly literature reveals the culture of spectatorship and voyeurism that shaped early Tudor English literary life. Through research into the reception of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, it demonstrates how Pandarus became the model of the early modern courtier. In close readings of early Tudor poetry, court drama, letters, manuscript anthologies and printed books, Seth Lerer illuminates a 'Pandaric' world of displayed bodies, surreptitious letters and transgressive performances.
Main Description
This revisionary study of the origins of courtly literature reveals the culture of spectatorship and voyeurism that shaped early Tudor English literary life. Through new research into the reception of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, it demonstrates how Pandarus became the model of the early modern courtier. In close readings of early Tudor poetry, court drama, letters, manuscript anthologies and printed books, Seth Lerer illuminates a "Pandaric" world of displayed bodies, surreptitious letters, and transgressive performances.
Main Description
This revisionary study of the origins of courtly poetry reveals the culture of spectatorship and voyeurism that shaped early Tudor English literary life. Through research into the reception of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, it demonstrates how Pandarus became the model of the early modern courtier. His blend of counsel, secrecy and eroticism informed the behaviour of poets, lovers, diplomats and even Henry VIII himself. In close readings of the poetry of Hawes and Skelton, the drama of the court, the letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, the writings of Thomas Wyatt, and manuscript anthologies and early printed books, Seth Lerer illuminates a 'Pandaric' world of displayed bodies, surreptitious letters and transgressive performances. In the process, he redraws the boundaries between the medieval and the Renaissance and illustrates the centrality of the verse epistle to the construction of subjectivity.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Acknowledgements
Note on editions and abbreviations
Pretexts: Chaucer-s Pandarus and the origins of courtly discourse
The King-s Pandars: performing courtiership in the 1510s
The King-s hand: body politics in the letters of Henry VIII
Private quotations, public memories: Troilus and Criseyde and the politics of the manuscript anthology
Wyatt, Chaucer, Tottel: the verse epistle and the subjects of the courtly lyric
Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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