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Fair Copies

Fair Copies: Reproducing the English Lyric from Tottel to Shakespeare

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 248
  • Book Info
    Fair Copies
    Book Description:

    InFair Copies, Matthew Zarnowiecki argues that poetic production was re-envisioned during this period, which was rife with models of copying and imitation, to include reproduction as one of its inherent attributes.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6747-1
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. A Note on the Text
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-21)

    Chidiock Tichborne is known for a single, eighteen-line poem. It was composed as he awaited execution for his part in the Babington Plot of 1586, an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth. In explaining his actions, Tichborne claimed to have been a pawn, or a “silly housedove,” who fell in with the wrong crowd. His assessment was probably not far off, since the plot went to the highest levels, with encrypted messages passed between Anthony Babington and Mary, Queen of Scots, messages which were surreptitiously intercepted by Francis Walsingham, through the use of a double agent. Three poems and a letter...

  7. 1 The “vnquiet state” of the Lover: Richard Tottel’s Lyric and Legal Reproductions
    (pp. 22-46)

    In an article on fact-checkers in prominent newspapers and magazines, a dire warning appears: “Any error is everlasting … Once an error gets into print it will ‘live on and on in libraries carefully catalogued, scrupulously indexed … silicon-chipped, deceiving researcher after researcher down through the ages, all of whom will make new errors on the strength of the original errors, and so on and on into an exponential explosion of errata.’”¹ To anyone but fact-checkers and editors, this kind of claim may seem self-important and overblown. But editors traffic in error, and as David McKitterick has argued, the advent...

  8. 2 “Nedelesse Singularitie”: George Gascoigne’s Strategies for Preserving Lyric Delight
    (pp. 47-70)

    Tottel’sSonges and Sonettesexemplifies a central tension of textual reproduction: copying a text often both preserves and effaces the earlier version. In the previous chapter, I have shown how lyric poets are deeply invested in the opposing impulses of currency and preservation. Poems like “My Lute Awake” renounce the present even as they imaginatively occupy past, present, and future. But the medium, Tottel’s mid-century printed miscellany, also deepens and complicates these temporal disjunctions. Tottel’s Lover is forever experiencing the present passions of lyric expostulation, even as Tottel’s book professes to preserve the works of poets who have passed.


  9. 3 Solitude, Poetic Community, and Lyric Recording in Spenser’s Shepheardes Calender and Colin Clovts Come home againe
    (pp. 71-107)

    In Lodowick Bryskett’sA Civil Discourse(published 1606 though perhaps written much earlier), there is a rare account of the circulation of Spenser’s poetry. “Master Spenser” is one of the interlocutors in Bryskett’s conversation, and Bryskett appeals to him to speak on the subject at hand, which is moral philosophy, and how one’s time ought to be spent to best benefit mankind. “Spenser” at this point demurs, saying that he has “already vndertaken a work tending to the same effect,” and instead wishes to hear Bryskett recite the translation he had already accomplished, of Giraldi’s dialogic version of Aristotle’sEthics....

  10. 4 Lyric Surrogacy: Reproducing the “I” in Sidney’s Arcadia
    (pp. 108-128)

    In Gascoigne’s self-consciously arranged miscellany, and Spenser’s acutely self-aware calendar of pastoral poetry, we have seen two examples of how English poets of the 1570s begin to incorporate new conditions of reproducibility into their poetic methods. Spenser’s Colin Clout continually wrestles with the tension between solitude and poetic community, while Gascoigne repeatedly dwells on the futility of sexual and textual control. For both authors, reproduction is a central concern: Colin Clout gradually learns to participate in a community of poetic “recorders,” while Gascoigne’s lyric delights mutate and proliferate far beyond the author’s control.

    This chapter, on Sir Philip Sidney’sArcadia,...

  11. 5 “All Men Make Faults”: Begetting Error in Shake-speares Sonnets
    (pp. 129-168)

    Chapter 1 began with a reference to the proliferation of error in print. There, we saw that Tottel’sSonges and Sonettesdeploys a vexed, but productive model of error. Prior, erroneous versions of texts are incorporated into large legal compendiums and, I argue, into Tottel’s miscellaneous poetry collection as well. Poetic productionisreproduction with a difference, and that difference is often judged to be the correction of error. I end with Shakespeare’s sonnets because they intensify the connections between error, reproduction, sexuality, textuality, and lyric. They do so despite the common view that the book of Shakespeare’s sonnets is...

  12. Coda: The End of Shake-speares Sonnets
    (pp. 169-174)

    Chapter 5 claims, in part, that both Shakespeare and the printed mediums of his sonnets undermine sequentiality. They skew our sense of how works of art, and people, move through time, especially when they undergo mutation as a result of being reproduced in a new medium. Closing this study of Elizabethan lyric poetry by asking howShake-speares Sonnetsends might, then, seem beside the point. However, in certain ways, this book can stand as an ending for the larger process I have been tracing. That process is the gradual incorporation of reproduction into English lyric poetry collections: as a theme,...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 175-206)
  14. Works Cited
    (pp. 207-224)
  15. Index
    (pp. 225-233)