`A long overdue, comprehensive and fresh account of the life and works of one of England's most talented and versatile writers.... A lucid, informative and stimulating biographical study. This will be a valuable work for all Renaissance scholars.' RICHARD C. MCCOY, Professor of English, City University of New York. George Gascoigne was one of the most inventive and influential of the early Elizabethan poets. He found favour with Elizabeth I and was admired by Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare and their generation; his many innovations, and his importance to the later Elizabethans, gave him a uniquely significant role in the early years of the English literary renaissance. Yet his witty manuscript works for the Queen, his courtly performances and most of his anonymous printed books were soon forgotten or misattributed. It was the publications which bear his name - largely moralistic, or presented as moralistic - that had most impact on his modern reputation as the first of the Elizabethan Prodigals. This study, the first monograph to include Gascoigne's illustrations, looks at all of his extant work. In particular, it addresses the full range of self-presentations which Gascoigne cultivated in order to manoeuvre within the system of patronage, including the figure of the Reformed Prodigal. This approach produces a new model for understanding Gascoigne's career, revealing his significance at a key transitional moment in the English literary renaissance. Dr GILLIAN AUSTEN is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of English, University of Bristol.
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