Remapping Elizabethan court poetry

Gibson, Jonathan (2001). Remapping Elizabethan court poetry. In: Pincombe, Mike ed. The Anatomy of Tudor Literature: Proceedings of the First International Conference of the Tudor Symposium (1998). Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 98–111.


In this chapter, I argue that the poetry written by courtiers and professional writers associated with the Edward DeVere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford in the 1570s and 1580s can be linked to Oxford's support for the proposed marriage between Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Alencon. I also argue that the poetry of the Sidney circle can be read as a reaction against 'Oxfordian' writing. I link the development of Oxfordian 'new lyricism' at the Elizabethan court to the 'nouvel italianisme' characteristic of contemporary French poetry, focusing in particular on the writings of Oxford himself, Walter Ralegh and Arthur Gorges. I read Sidney's Astrophil and Stella and Old Arcadia as responses to the amoral opportunism of the Oxfordian poetic.

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