Prince Henry
in The daring muse of the early Stuart funeral elegy
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The death of Prince Henry in 1612 elicited the greatest number of funeral elegies for a single death in the period 1603 to 1640, and this chapter considers a limited group of these that presented a note of discord or doubt in the midst of general public sorrow. In some cases, this discord reflected the potentially competitive nature of commemoration, whether competition among poets or with other memorial forms. In particular, the chapter focuses on Arthur Gorges’ use of a dialogic form to question the certainty of those elegists who saw Prince Henry’s death as the loss of future national greatness, and on how John Davies of Hereford’s The Muses Teares boldly raises troubling questions about the relationship between King James and his dead son. Finally, the chapter considers how these elegies on the Prince continued to influence the genre in general, and how his death remained a touchstone for later notable deaths.


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