The Hawthornden Manuscripts of William Fowler and the Jacobean Court 1603–1612  book cover
1st Edition

The Hawthornden Manuscripts of William Fowler and the Jacobean Court 1603–1612

ISBN 9780367543266
Published September 8, 2020 by Routledge
246 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores the unedited material contained in the Hawthornden manuscripts of William Fowler, a Scottish poet attached to the court of Queen Anna of Denmark between 1590 and 1612. The material is representative of Fowler’s ephemeral and occasional production, largely unknown to modern scholars. Through the lenses of the Hawthornden fragments, this book engages in the exploration of one of the "cultural places of the European Renaissance", represented by the extensive use of emblems and other literary devices, and by the use of manuscript copies to circulate them. The discourse mainly focuses on the Jacobean courtly establishment in the first decade of the seventeenth century, from the point of view of a Scottish insider. By focusing on the intellectual makeup of the court in the newly united Great Britain, this work aims at bridging manuscript scholarship and literary studies with a wider perspective on contemporary society, politics and culture.

Table of Contents



Chapter One: A life of William Fowler

Chapter Two: The state of the Hawthornden manuscripts

Chapter Three: The Hawthornden manuscripts and the Queen’s court

Chapter Four: The Hawthornden manuscripts and politics at court

Chapter Five: The Hawthornden manuscripts and court servants


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Allison L. Steenson is a researcher in British literature at the University of Padua (DISLL – Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Letterari). Her work has mostly focused on Scottish literature, specifically on the Castalian poets at the Jacobean court and on the Scottish sonnet form. More recently, she has been working on the Hawthornden manuscripts of William Fowler, a "treasure trove" of early modern manuscript material, on which she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She has collaborated to research and museum projects focusing on archival and manuscript material, and on early printed books. Dr. Steenson is an alumna of the Universities of Padua, Edinburgh and St Andrews, and a fellow of IASH (The Institute of Advanced Studied, Edinburgh). When she is at home, she lives in Veneto, Italy.