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Title:The Politics of Anti -Courtly Love Poetry: Gender, Sexuality, and Religion in Early Seventeenth-Century Manuscript Verse Miscellanies
Author(s):Eckhardt, Joshua Michael
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Guibbory, Achsah
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, English
Abstract:This dissertation argues that the manuscript dissemination of one of the most popular groups of poems in early modern England transformed the genre's politics. The Ovidian, anti-Petrarchan, and otherwise bawdy verse of John Donne, Sir John Davies, Francis Beaumont, and others originally registered irreverent detachment from the culture of the late Elizabethan court. Yet when these anti-courtly love poems gained popularity in the early seventeenth century, collectors must have overlooked their original politics. For they regularly gathered these poems in manuscript verse miscellanies among verses that attack not Elizabeth's court but the courts of James I and Charles I. Such poems on affairs of state, or libels, include: epitaphs for Elizabeth; attacks on the earl and countess of Somerset, the Jacobean royal favorite and noble Catholic woman who were found guilty of murdering Sir Thomas Overbury; poems opposing the proposed marriage between Prince Charles and the Spanish Infanta; verses that allege that another royal favorite, the duke of Buckingham, had a sexual relationship with James; and poems that celebrate Buckingham's murder and defend his assassin, John Felton. Focusing on the interplay of these libels and anti-Petrarchan verses in miscellanies, I argue that, although anti-courtly love poetry originally mocked a protestant court that persecuted Catholics at home and defeated Spain abroad, verse collectors assimilated the genre to a political and literary culture that opposed a later court's apparent softness toward domestic and Spanish Catholics.
Issue Date:2005
Description:219 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3198983
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

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