Hadfield concludes: ‘We are presented with a fundamental dilemma:
either take what appears in the literary works as evidence of the poet's life
or abandon any quest for that life and declare that it is unwritable’
(12). Like many who have patiently awaited an archival discovery, the veritable
smoking gun that will make all clear about a sixteenth-century figure, I have
grappled with the challenge
ex machina in As You Like It . I constituted my research object by confronting sources as varied as video and tape recordings (whenever possible), photos, programmes, press packs and reviews, working notes, correspondence and interviews. Although Vilar's productions are the oldest performances in the corpus , they rank among the best documented projects for Vilar was already well aware of the importance of data archiving to build up a budding history of the Avignon Festival.
, the assumption seems to have been made that everything that
could be known about Spenser's early life had been reported, but, now that we
are computerizing our archives, there is every likelihood that new records will be
discovered. There is no reason to salvage either an aristocratic or a
middle-class Spenser. Some puzzles, such as Spenser's precise lineage, are best
left unresolved until we are sure that we have sufficient evidence to draw
Mark H. Curtis, Oxford and Cambridge in Transition,
1558–1642 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959), 180–1.
Cambridge University manuscripts associated with
Langherne (Langhorne) seemed to offer no information on Spenser, but
Edmonton archives might prove more useful
Spenser’s Busirane and Donne’s ‘A Valediction of my name, in the window’
(London: J.M. Dent &Sons, 1985), 70. Subsequent references are to this edition.
2 Donne’s signature is preserved in the ‘marriage letters’, the correspondence between the poet and his father-in-law, George More, in the Folger Shakespeare Library digital archive. The ‘ragged bony’ autograph evokes the skeletal image that Donne conjures in his poem: http://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/detail/FOLGERCM1~6~6~32007~102238:John-Donne-s-marriage-letters-inth?sort=call_number%2Cmpsortorder1%2Ccd_title%2Cimprint&qvq=q:donne’s%2Bmarriage%2Bletters
, especially in the heyday of deconstruction. 12 Donne studies have, of necessity, focused on manuscripts, archival research, and textual criticism, and the ongoing project of the Donne Variorum highlights the enormity and complexity of the task. 13 The Oxford Handbook devotes its entire first section to research tools and resources in Donne studies, approximately 11 per cent of the total page count excluding the frontmatter and index. Spenser studies, by contrast, have focused on publication history, which takes up 5.7 per cent of the page count in its respective
Veneris , trans. F.W. Cornish, J. Postgate, J.W. Mackail, rev. G.P. Goold (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1913), Poem LXI, lines 8, 165–6, 224–8.
10 Thomas M. Greene, ‘Spenser and the Epithalamic Convention’, Comparative Literature , 9.3 (1957 Summer), 215–28.
11 George Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie ( London, 1569), 41. Electronic text available at http://web.archive.org/web/20081012044941/ http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/PutPoes.html . All references to Puttenham are to this
’, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Archive (Winter 2016 edn), ed. Edward N. Zalta , https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2016/entries/humor/ (accessed May 2019).
14 ‘Reduction’ is more capacious than ‘superiority’ because, although still reflective of the power of normative social hierarchies to generate humour, it incorporates all bathetic and downward-tending comic gestures without presupposing a particular response (as such ‘reduction’ may also be integral to both incongruity and relief). ‘Ambiguity’ captures verbal and visual tensions
The Earl of Essex, Sir Philip Sidney and surviving Elizabeth’s
Richard James Wood
and Sidney Lee (22 vols., London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885–1900), XIV (1888); online ed., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Archive.
6 Hammer, ‘Devereux, Robert, second earl of Essex (1565–1601)’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , eds. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); online ed., ed. Lawrence Goldman, October 2008.
7 James, Society, Politics and Culture , p. 416.
8 James delineates the nature of this ‘Sidneian chivalric romanticism’ in the preceding chapter of the same book, which is
For a description of the archival evidence relative to
the Cambridge delegation, see Zillah Dovey, An Elizabethan Progress: The
Queen's Journey into East Anglia, 1578 (Stroud: Alan Sutton, and
Madison, Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson Press, 1996), 34. Dovey corrects the
date for Harvey's presentation given in Stern, Gabriel Harvey ,