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A. D. Morrison

The letter collections of Greco-Roman antiquity dwarf in total size all of ancient drama or epic combined, but they have received far less attention than (say) the plays of Euripides or the epics of Homer or Virgil. Although classicists have long realised the crucial importance of the order and arrangement of poems into ‘poetry books’ for the reading and reception both of individual poems and the collection as a whole, the importance of order and arrangement in collections of letters and the consequences for their interpretation have long been neglected. This piece explores some of the most important Greek letter collections, such as the Letters attributed to Plato, and examines some of the key problems in studying and editing collections of such ancient letters.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Steve Sohmer

This chapter explains how Shakespeare marshalled St. Paul’s Epistles to the Corinthians as the subtext for Twelfth Night.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Gender and generation in Robert Southwell’s Epistle to his father
Hannah Crawforth

return to the Catholic faith. Moreover, there is none of the intergenerational deference, the respect for one’s elders, that we might expect to find in such a document. 10 Southwell’s Epistle outlines a horrifying vision of his father’s ‘departing-bed’, asking that he imagine himself ‘burdened with the heavy load of your former trespasses, and gored

in Conversions
Ralph Maud

purgatory blind. So the draft poem is picked up, is revised, and gets its title in a mood of stasis. It is eight years later that Olson recalls for Edward Dahlberg and Caresse Crosby the passage from which he took the phrase. In Keats’sEpistle to John Hamilton Reynolds’ he found: ‘Lost in sort of Purgatory blind, / Cannot refer to any standard law / Of either earth or heaven’ (SL, 84, 86). Olson presumably felt the meaning of ‘blind’ as a concealed place of waiting was appropriate to his condition and the draft as he then revised it. However, the early ending is a

in Contemporary Olson
Author: Laura Varnam

The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building, idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English texts.

Chaucer, Spenser and Luke Shepherd’s ‘New Poet’
Harriet Archer

as he disowns the notion of antecedents, then, that Virgil echoes Callimachus in his sixth Eclogue , when ‘the Cynthian’, Apollo, ‘grasped / my ear and warned me: “Tityrus, a shepherd / should graze fat sheep, but sing a slender song”’. 26 The elision in E.K.’s Epistle of the Virgilian Tityrus with Chaucer reinforces not only Spenser’s position within a vernacular poetic continuum, but specifically evokes Virgil’s recollection of a neoteric antecedent of his own. From as early as the Augustan period, ‘new poetry’ appears

in Rereading Chaucer and Spenser
Cheshire on the eve of civil war
Authors: Richard Cust and Peter Lake

This book aims to revisit the county study as a way into understanding the dynamics of the English civil war during the 1640s. It explores gentry culture and the extent to which early Stuart Cheshire could be said to be a ‘county community’. It investigates the responses of the county’s governing elite and puritan religious establishment to highly polarising interventions by the central government and Laudian ecclesiastical authorities during Charles I’s Personal Rule. The second half of the book provides a rich and detailed analysis of the petitioning movements and side-taking in Cheshire during 1641-42. This important contribution to understanding the local origins and outbreak of civil war in England will be of interest to all students and scholars studying the English Revolution.

Ralph Knevet's Supplement of the Faery Queene (1635) is a narrative and allegorical work, which weaves together a complex collection of tales and episodes, featuring knights, ladies, sorcerers, monsters, vertiginous fortresses and deadly battles – a chivalric romp in Spenser's cod medieval style. The poem shadows recent English history, and the major military and political events of the Thirty Years War. But the Supplement is also an ambitiously intertextual poem, weaving together materials from mythic, literary, historical, scientific, theological, and many other kinds of written sources. Its encyclopaedic ambitions combine with Knevet's historical focus to produce an allegorical epic poem of considerable interest and power.

This new edition of Knevet's Supplement, the first scholarly text of the poem ever published, situates it in its literary, historical, biographical, and intellectual contexts. An extensive introduction and copious critical commentary, positioned at the back of the book, will enable students and scholars alike to access Knevet's complicated and enigmatic meanings, structures, and allusions.

This book is the first ever concordance to the rhymes of Spenser’s epic. It gives the reader unparalleled access to the formal nuts and bolts of this massive poem: the rhymes which he used to structure its intricate stanzas.

As well as the main concordance to the rhymes, the volume features a wealth of ancillary materials, which will be of value to both professional Spenserians and students, including distribution lists and an alphabetical listing of all the words in The Faerie Queene. The volume breaks new ground by including two studies by Richard Danson Brown and J. B. Lethbridge, so that the reader is given provocative analyses alongside the raw data about Spenser as a rhymer. Brown considers the reception of rhyme, theoretical models and how Spenser’s rhymes may be reading for meaning. Lethbridge in contrast discusses the formulaic and rhetorical character of the rhymes.

Abstract only
Syrithe Pugh

his letters almost all the moral system of his books, while Cicero treats philosophical matters in his books and puts domestic news and timely gossip in his letters. What Seneca may think of Cicero’s letters is his own affair. For me, I confess, they are delightful reading. Petrarch is talking about subject-matter, and implicitly purpose. Seneca’s epistles to Lucilius are everywhere concerned with philosophy: though they include personal and anecdotal matter, it is always used to make a philosophical point, and Seneca is quite explicit about the didactic purpose

in Conversations