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Current Issue Article Abstracts

Winter 2016 Vol. 79.4


“Newes from Scotland” in England, 1559–1602

Amy Blakeway

While news from abroad has attracted increasing attention from scholars studying the print market in England, little attention has been paid thus far to the presence of Scottish texts in England—with the notable exception of James VI’s marketing campaign. This essay shows that the availability of Scottish news mirrored the acceptability of events in Scotland to the Elizabethan regime. At times, therefore, it was Scotland’s very proximity that caused coverage of its news to be limited in the London press—in the same manner as domestic news. A study of the Scottish presence in the English print market also has ramifications for our understanding of the Edinburgh trade, and this essay identifies a number of items with a likely Scottish provenance that appeared in England, but for which there is no Scottish edition extant.

Thinking Metallurgically: Metals and Empire in the Projects of Edward Hayes

Karin A. Amundsen

Edward Hayes is well known for his involvement in North American colonization in the sixteenth century, but less known for his monetary schemes in Ireland. This essay reappraises Hayes’s seemingly disconnected career to argue that metallurgy connected his projects. Envisioning a circulatory economy under-girded by bullionist policies, Hayes offered metallic solutions to England’s social ills and rationalized them as public goods using alchemical and millenarian discourses. Over time, Hayes’s economic thinking progressed to a narrower focus on coinage—the lifeblood of the economy—as the key to restoring social harmony.

The Power of the Broken: Sir Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici and Aphoristic Writing

Reid Barbour

An analysis of the generic affiliations and mixtures of Religio Medici helps make sense of certain features of its dazzling intricacies, but it does not consider the shape of the eight extant manuscripts. Especially in two manuscripts whose provenance is linked closely to Browne himself, the text of Religio Medici is broken into smaller portions of prose than are found in the print editions from 1642 onward. Furthermore, in the first manuscript stage of composition and the 1643 authorized edition, Browne divides his meditations by numbers rather than titles. These features suggest that the mode if not the genre of Religio Medici was intended by the author and received by its earliest readers as aphoristic.

Notes and Documents

Unvolving the Mysteries of the Melbourne Manuscript

Daniel Starza Smith

The Melbourne Manuscript is an anonymous Stuart manuscript preserving 144 lines of a play-scene in draft form, which was discarded and used to wrap a packet of letters. This essay produces a new diplomatic edition of the manuscript, updating Antony Hammond and Doreen DelVecchio’s 1988 text, and the first modernized, annotated edition. It gives an explanation of the editorial decisions associated with both versions. The essay introduces the context of the manuscript’s discovery and the scholarly debate surrounding its authorship, summarizing the key arguments to date and putting forward a new suggestion. The authorship debate has dominated academic discussion of this manuscript to date; this essay offers the first full-scale literary analysis of this richly worked literary text.

Felix Kingston, Aurelian Townshend’s Ante-Masques, and the Masque at Oatlands, 1635

Karen Britland

The Ante-Masques, a brief pamphlet, contains verses thought to have been written by Aurelian Townshend. Since the 1970s, this text has been tied to the production ofFlorimène, a pastoral play performed by Queen Henrietta Maria’s ladies on December 21, 1635. This attribution rests on internal evidence from the verses alone, since the pamphlet is undated, and there is no indication of its printer. In this essay, Karen Britland demonstrates that the Ante-Masques was printed by Felix Kingston. She suggests that its verses should be linked not with Florimène but with an entertainment put on for Henrietta Maria at Oatlands House in August 1635.

Recovering a Restoration Scribal Poet: The Life and Work of Robert Wolseley, with Notes on His Association with Rochester

Paul Davis

The present essay aims to retrieve the “minor poet and wit” Robert Wolseley from obscurity, uncovering new information about his court career and shifting political allegiance, his output as a poet, and his association with the Earl of Rochester. In particular, Paul Davis argues that Wolseley makes a credible candidate for authorship of part or all of the “Allusion to Tacitus” (1679–80). The essay concludes by reconstructing Wolseley’s poetic canon, identifying some eighteen items for which he was almost certainly responsible, either as sole author or in collaboration. These include a number of poetically creditable and historically significant pieces; Robert Wolseley emerges as a Restoration poet overdue scholarly attention not only because of his prestigious literary connections but also in his own right.