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Jean R. Brink

In Gabriel Harvey's Gratulationes Valdinenses (1578), a work that could be described as his Shepheardes Calender , he reveals his approach to securing patronage. This text, written without a collaborator and published prior to Familiar Letters , enables us to understand how Harvey was viewed by his contemporaries. 1 The task of distinguishing Spenser from Harvey is far from simple because

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
‘Minde on honour fixed’
Author: Jean R. Brink

This revisionary biographical study documents that Spenser was the protégé of a circle of churchmen who expected him to take holy orders, but between 1574, when he left Pembroke College, and 1579, when he published the Shepheardes Calender, he decided against a career in the church. At Pembroke College and in London, Spenser watched the Elizabethan establishment crack down on independent thinking. The sequestration of Edmund Grindal was a watershed event in his early life, as was his encounter with Philip Sidney, the dedicatee of to the Shepheardes Calender. Once Spenser exchanged the role of shepherd-priest for that of shepherd-poet, he understood that his role was not just to celebrate the victories of Protestant England over the Spanish empire, immortalize in verse the virtues of Gloriana’s knights, but also to ‘fashion a noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline’. The received biography of the early Spenser emphasizes Gabriel Harvey, who is reported to have been Spenser’s tutor. Brink shows that Harvey could not have been Spenser’s tutor and argues that Harvey published Familiar Letters (1580) to promote his ambition to be named University Orator at Cambridge. Brink shows that Spenser had already received preferment. His life is contextualized by comparisons with contemporaries including Philip Sidney, Lodowick Bryskett, Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Ralegh. Brink’s provocative study, based upon a critical re-evaluation of manuscript and printed sources, emphasizes Philip Sidney over Harvey and shows that Spenser’s appointment as secretary to Lord Grey was a preferment celebrated even years later by Camden.

Solving Shakespeare’s riddles in The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, King John, 1–2 Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Othello, Macbeth and Cymberline
Author: Steve Sohmer

Knowing William Shakespeare better, we are better equipped to know his plays. Better knowing his plays brings us closer to knowing him. This book suggests that Shakespeare wrote not only for the mass audience, but simultaneously for that stratum of cognoscenti whom Gabriel Harvey dubbed 'the wiser sort.' It identifies many passages in the plays which Shakespeare resolves famous cruces which scholars have never been able to unravel, and casts new light on Shakespeare's mind and method. Shakespeare wrote into Julius Caesar more than one passage intelligible only to that handful of the wiser sort who had read Plutarch and knew their Suetonius. Into Macbeth Shakespeare injected a detail accessible only to the few intrepid souls brave or reckless enough to have cast the horoscope of King James I. We find a poem in Hamlet, where the prince invites his love and bandies matters of cosmology which were burning issues (literally) throughout Shakespeare's lifetime. While Julius Caesar's old Julian calendar prevailed in England its rival, the scientifically correct Gregorian reformed calendar, dominated most of Europe. Shakespeare suffused his plays with references to calendrical anomalies, as seen in Othello. By relating Shakespeare's texts, the Renaissance calendars and the liturgy, the book produces a lexicon apt for parsing the time-riddles in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare handled religious subjects, examined and interrogated the dogmas of the received religions, and parodied the Crucifixion by exploiting Holinshed's account of the persecution and assassination of York.

Steve Sohmer

I’ve suggested that in As You Like It Shakespeare etched into Touchstone an effigy of Thomas Nashe. I will show that in Twelfth Night Shakespeare produced another, more highly developed portrait of Nashe as Feste – and thrust him back into conflict with his real-life nemesis Gabriel Harvey, whom Shakespeare cast as Malvolio – ‘He who

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Ever in motion

This volume questions and qualifies commonly accepted assumptions about the early modern English sonnet: that it was a strictly codified form, most often organised in sequences, which emerged only at the very end of the sixteenth century and declined as fast as it had bloomed at the turn of the century – and that minor poets merely participated in the sonnet fashion by replicating established conventions. Drawing from book history, using the tools of close reading and textual criticism, it aims to offer a more nuanced history of the form in early modern England – and especially of the so-called ‘sonnet craze’. It does so by exploring the works of such major poets as Shakespeare, Sidney and Spenser but also of lesser-studied sonneteers such as Barnabe Barnes and Gabriel Harvey. It discusses how sonnets were written, published, received and repurposed in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, taking into account interactions with the French and Italian literary traditions. The collection also discusses current editorial practices and provides the first modern edition of an early seventeenth-century Elizabethan miscellany which claims the Earl of Essex, Spenser and ‘S.P.S.’ (presumably Sir Philp Sidney) as authors.

Jean R. Brink

‘pensioners’ who paid for their room and board – much the same as would happen with modern-day ‘board jobs’. Most students entered as pensioners. Gabriel Harvey, for example, was admitted as a gentleman pensioner at Easter 1566. An Edward Spencer, the fifth son of Sir John Spencer of Althorp, was admitted as a gentleman pensioner at Caius College on 15 November 1575. This Edward Spencer was the brother of the sisters who were to act as patrons to

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Jean R. Brink

English Colonial Theory’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society , 89, No. 4 (December 1945), 543–60. 4 Lisa Jardine, ‘Encountering Ireland: Gabriel Harvey, Edmund Spenser, and English Colonial Ventures’, in Representing Ireland: Literature and the Origins of Conflict, 1534–1660 , ed. Brendan Bradshaw, Andrew Hadfield

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
A Mirror for Magistrates and early English tragedy
Jessica Winston

Some time in the later sixteenth century, the classical scholar and poet Gabriel Harvey acquired a copy of The Posies (1575), the miscellany collection of George Gascoigne’s poetry, prose and drama, and, as he did with most of the books in his library, Harvey annotated this one with marginalia. In one note, on the title to Jocasta , he linked

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
Gabriel Harvey’s sonnet therapy
Elisabeth Chaghafi

Certaine Sonnets When we think of Gabriel Harvey, we are unlikely to think of sonnets. Instead, we tend to associate his name either with Edmund Spenser’s ‘Hobbinol’ or with the pedantic academic bore portrayed in the pamphlets of Thomas Nashe. Although the dedicatory epistle of The Shepheardes Calender (1579) had specifically urged Harvey

in The early modern English sonnet
Jean R. Brink

Spenser as Young's secretary derives from an inscription which Gabriel Harvey, not Spenser, wrote in one of Harvey's books. At Christmas 1578, Spenser gave Harvey a copy of Jerome Turler's The Traveiler … devided into two Bookes. The first conteyning a notable discourse of the maner and order of traveiling oversea, or into straunge and forein Countreys. The second comprehending an excellent description of the most delicious Realme of

in The early Spenser, 1554–80