Courtly Letters in the Age of Henry VIII: Literary Culture and the Arts of Deceit

Overview

This revisionary study of the origins of courtly literature reveals the culture of spectatorship and voyeurism that shaped early Tudor English literary life. Through new research into the reception of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, it demonstrates how Pandarus became the model of the early modern courtier. In close readings of early Tudor poetry, court drama, letters, manuscript anthologies and printed books, Seth Lerer illuminates a 'Pandaric' world of displayed bodies, surreptitious letters, and transgressive ...
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Overview

This revisionary study of the origins of courtly literature reveals the culture of spectatorship and voyeurism that shaped early Tudor English literary life. Through new research into the reception of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, it demonstrates how Pandarus became the model of the early modern courtier. In close readings of early Tudor poetry, court drama, letters, manuscript anthologies and printed books, Seth Lerer illuminates a 'Pandaric' world of displayed bodies, surreptitious letters, and transgressive performances.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Lerer has written an elegant book. His chapters are grounded in close readings of literary texts, and he has presented a nuanced, challenging argument in well-turned phrases free of theoretical jargon." Mary Hill Cole, Mary Baldwin College

"Lerer's is one of the most impressive of the volumes I've read." Frank Kermode in the London Review of Books

"Lerer also offers some strong readings, especially of King Henry's love letters. And he comments well on manuscript collections of verse. This book belongs in libraries supporting graduate work in English literature and history." E.D. Hill, Choice

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgments
Note on editions and abbreviations
1 Pretexts: Chaucer's Pandarus and the origins of courtly discourse 1
2 The King's Pandars: performing courtiership in the 1510s 34
3 The King's hand: body politics in the letters of Henry VIII 87
4 Private quotations, public memories: Troilus and Criseyde and the politics of the manuscript anthology 122
5 Wyatt, Chaucer, Tottel: the verse epistle and the subjects of the courtly lyric 161
Notes 208
Index 249
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