The focus of this study is court literature in early sixteenth-century England and Scotland. The author examines courtly poetry and drama in the context of a complex system of entertainment, education, self-fashioning, dissimulation, propaganda and patronage. He places selected works under close critical scrutiny to explore the symbiotic relationship that existed between court literature and important socio-political, economic and national contexts of the period 1500 to 1540. The first two chapters discuss the pervasive influence of patronage upon court literature through an analysis of the panegyric verse that surrounded the coronation of Henry VIII. The rhetorical strategies adopted by courtiers within their literary works, however, differed, depending on whether the writer was, at the time of writing the verse or drama, excluded or included from the environs of the court. The different, often elaborate rhetorical strategies are, through close readings of selected verse, delineated and discussed in chapter three on David Lyndsay and chapter four on Thomas Wyatt and Thomas Elyot.
Contents: Introduction; Poet, court and culture; Patronage and panegyric verse; The 'inclusive and exclusive' rhetorical strategy of David Lyndsay's The Dreme and The Complaynt; Counsel, service, kingship and the moral reality of the court; The 'honestye' of Thomas Wyatt's court critique and the unstable 'I' of his verse; The murky waters of court politics and poetic propaganda; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.