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Varhaiset kirja-arvostelijatRobert Devereux
maaliskuu 2023 Erä
Giveaway Ended: March 27 at 06:00 pm EDT
A comparative anthology of all of the variedly-bylined texts in William Byrd’s linguistic-group, with scholarly introductions that solve previously impenetrable literary mysteries.
This is a comparative anthology of William Byrd’s multi-bylined verse, with scholarly introductions to their biographies, borrowings, and generic and structural formulas. The tested Byrd-group includes 30 texts with 29 different bylines. Each of these texts is covered in a separate chronologically-organized section. This anthology includes modernized translations of some of the greatest and the wittiest poetry of the Renaissance. Some of these poems are the most famous English poems ever written, while others have never been modernized before. These poems serve merely as a bridge upon which a very different history of early British poetry and music is reconstructed, through the alternative history of the single ghostwriter behind them. This history begins with two forgeries that are written in an antique Middle English style, while simultaneously imitating Virgil’s Eclogues: “Alexander Barclay’s” claimed translation of Pope Pius II’s Eclogues (1514?) and “John Skelton’s” Eclogues (1521?).
The next attribution mystery solved is how only a single poem assigned to “Walter Rawely of the Middle Temple” (when Raleigh is not known to have been a member of this Inn of Court) in The Steal Glass: A Satire (1576) has snowballed into entire anthologies of poetry that continue to be assigned to “Raleigh” as their “author”. Matthew Lownes assigned the “Edmund Spenser”-byline for the first time in 1611 to the previously anonymous Shepherds’ Calendar (1579) to profit from the popularity of the appended to it Fairy Queen. And “Thomas Watson” has been credited with creating Hekatompathia (1582), when this was his first book-length attempt in English; and this collection has been described as the first Petrarchan sonnet sequence in English, when actually most of these poems have 18-line, instead of 14-line stanzas. Byrd’s self-attributed Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs (1588) includes several lyrics that have since been re-assigned erroneously to other bylines in this collection, such as “My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is” being re-assigned to “Sir Edward Dyer”. The Byrd chapter also describes the history of his music-licensing monopoly.
The “University Wit” label is reinterpreted as being applied to those who completed paper-degrees with help from ghostwriters, as exemplified in “Robert Greene’s” confession that “his” Pandosto and Menaphon were “so many parricides”, as if these obscene topics were forced upon him without his participation in the authorial process. “Philip Sidney’s” Astrophil and Stella (1591) is showcased as an example of erroneous autobiographical interpretations of minor poetic references; for example, the line “Rich she is” in a sonnet that puns repeatedly on the term “rich”, has been erroneously widely claimed by scholars to prove that Sidney had a prolonged love-interest in “Lady Penelope Devereux Rich”. Similarly, Thomas Lodge’s 1592-3 voyage to South America has been used to claim his special predilection for “sea-studies”, in works such as Phillis (1593), when adoring descriptions of the sea are common across the Byrd-group. Alexander Dyce appears to have assigned the anonymous Licia (1593) to “Giles Fletcher” in a brief note in 1843, using only the evidence of a vague mention of an associated monarch in a text from another member of the “Fletcher” family.
One of the few blatantly fictitiously-bylined Renaissance texts that have not been re-assigned to a famous “Author” is “Henry Willobie’s” Avisa (1594) that invents a non-existent Oxford-affiliated editor called “Hadrian Dorrell”, who confesses to have stolen this book, without “Willobie’s” permission. Even with such blatant evidence of satirical pseudonym usage or potential identity-fraud, scholars have continued to search for names in Oxford’s records that match these bylines. “John Monday’s” Songs and Psalms (1594) has been labeled as one of the earliest madrigal collections. 1594 was the approximate year when Byrd began specializing in providing ghostwriting services for mostly university-educated musicologists, who used these publishing credits to obtain music positions at churches such as the Westminster Abbey, or at Court. An Oxford paper-degree helped “Thomas Morley” become basically the first non-priest Gospeller at the Chapel Royal.
The section on “Morley’s” Ballets (1595) describes the fiscal challenges Morley encountered when the music-monopoly temporarily transitioned from Byrd’s direct control to his. “John Dowland’s” First Book of Songs or Airs (1597) is explained as a tool that helped Dowland obtain an absurdly high 500 daler salary from King Christian IV of Denmark in 1600, and his subsequent equally absurd willingness to settle for a £21 salary in 1612 to become King James I’s Lutenist. And the seemingly innocuous publication of “Michael Cavendish’s” 14 Airs in Tablature to the Lute (1598) is reinterpreted, with previously neglected evidence, as actually a book that was more likely to have been published in 1609, as part of the propaganda campaign supporting Lady Arabella Stuart’s succession to the British throne; the attempt failed and led to Arabella’s death during a hunger-strike in the Tower, and to the closeting of Airs. “William Shakespeare’s” The Passionate Pilgrim (1599) has been dismissed by scholars as only containing a few firmly “Shakespearean” poems, in part because nearly all of its 20 poems had appeared under other bylines. Passionate’s poems 16, 17, 19 and 20 are included, with an explanation of the divergent—“Ignoto”, “Shakespeare” and “Marlowe”—bylines they were instead assigned to in England’s Helicon (1600).
Scholars have previously been at a loss as to identity of the “John Bennet” of the Madrigals (1599), and this mystery is solved with the explanation that this byline is referring to Sir John Bennet (1553-1627) whose £20,000 bail, was in part sponsored with a £1,200 donation from Sir William Byrd. “John Farmer’s” First Set of English Madrigals (1599) is reinterpreted as a byline that appears to have helped Farmer continue collecting on his Organist salary physically appearing for work, between a notice of absenteeism in 1597 and 1608, when the next Organist was hired. “Thomas Weelkes’” Madrigals (1600) is reframed as part of a fraud that managed to advance Weelkes from a menial laborer £2 salary at Winchester to a £15 Organist salary at Chichester. He was hired at Chichester after somehow finding around £30 to attain an Oxford BA in Music in 1602, in a suspicious parallel with the Dean William Thorne of Chichester’s degree-completion from the same school; this climb was followed by one of the most notorious Organist tenures, as Weelkes was repeatedly cited for being an absentee drunkard, and yet Dean Thorne never fired him. “Richard Carlton’s” Madrigals (1601) also appears to be an inoffensive book, before the unnoticed by scholars “Mus 1291/A” is explained as torn-out prefacing pages that had initially puffed two schemers that were involved in the conspiracy of Biron in 1602.
The British Library describes Hand D in “Addition IIc” of Sir Thomas More as “Shakespeare’s only surviving literary manuscript”; this section explains Byrd’s authorship of verse fragments, such as “Addition III”, and Percy’s authorship of the overall majority of this censored play; the various handwritings and linguistic styles in the More manuscript are fully explained. “Michael Drayton’s” Idea (1603-1619) series has been explained as depicting an autobiographical life-long obsession with the unnamed-in-the-text “Anne Goodere”, despite “Drayton’s” apparent split-interest also in a woman called Matilda (1594) and in male lovers in some sprinkled male-pronoun sonnets. “Michael East’s” Second Set of Madrigals (1606) is one of a few music books that credit “Sir Christopher Hatton” as a semi-author due to their authorship at his Ely estate; the many implications of these references are explored. “Thomas Ford’s” Music of Sundry Kinds (1607) serves as a gateway to discuss a group of interrelated Jewish Court musicians, included Joseph Lupo (a potential, though impossible to test, ghostwriter behind the Byrd-group), and open cases of identity-fraud, such as Ford being paid not only his own salary but also £40 for the deceased “John Ballard”.
“William Shakespeare’s” Sonnets (1609) are discussed as one of Byrd’s mathematical experiments, which blatantly do not adhering to a single “English sonnet” formula, as they include deviations such as poems with 15 lines, six couplets, and a double-rhyme-schemes. The poems that have been erroneously assigned to “Robert Devereux” are explained as propaganda to puff his activities as a courtier, when he was actually England’s top profiteer from selling over £70,000 in patronage, knighthoods and various other paper-honors. “Orlando Gibbons’” or “Sir Christopher Hatton’s” First Set of Madrigals and Motets (1612) describes the lawsuit over William Byrd taking over a Cambridge band-leading role previously held by William Gibbons, who in retaliated by beating up Byrd and breaking his instrument. This dispute contributed to Byrd and Harvey’s departure from Cambridge. Byrd’s peaceful life in academia appears to be the period that Byrd was thinking back to in 1612, as he was reflecting on his approaching death in the elegantly tragic “Gibbons’” First songs.
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