Since publication in 1979 Isabel Rivers' sourcebook has established itself as the essential guide to English Renaissance poetry. It:
- provides an account of the main classical and Christian ideas, outlining their meaning, their origins and their transmission to the Renaissance;
- illustrates the ways in which Renaissance poetry drew on classical and Christian ideas;
- contains extracts from key classical and Christian texts and relates these to the extracts of the English poems which draw on them;
- includes suggestions for further reading, and an invaluable bibliographical appendix.