George Gascoigne

March 2008
10 black and white illustrations
256 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Renaissance Literature
ISBN: 9781843841579
Format: Hardback
Library eBook

George Gascoigne

Gillian Austen

out of stock

First modern full-length study of the Elizabethan poet George Gascoigne.
"A long overdue, comprehensive and fresh account of the life and works of one of England's most talented and versatile writers.... A lucid, informative and stimulating biographical study. This will be a valuable work for all Renaissance scholars." RICHARD C. MCCOY, Professor of English, City University of New York.

George Gascoigne was one of the most inventive and influential of the early Elizabethan poets. He found favour with Elizabeth I and was admired by Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare and their generation; his many innovations, and his importance to the later Elizabethans, gave him a uniquely significant role in the early years of the English literary renaissance. Yet his witty manuscript works for the Queen, his courtly performances and most of his anonymous printed books were soon forgotten or misattributed. It was the publications which bear his name - largely moralistic, or presented as moralistic - that had most impact on his modern reputation as the first of the Elizabethan Prodigals.
This study, the first monograph to include Gascoigne's illustrations, looks at all of his extant work. In particular, it addresses the full range of self-presentations which Gascoigne cultivated in order to manoeuvre within the system of patronage, including the figure of the Reformed Prodigal. This approach produces a new model for understanding Gascoigne's career, revealing his significance at a key transitional moment in the English literary renaissance.

Dr GILLIAN AUSTEN is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of English, University of Bristol.

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Table of Contents

The Literary Career of George Gascoigne: an Introduction
1555-69: The Gray's Inn Years
1572-3: The Move into Print
1575: The Reformed Prodigal and Princely Pleasures
1576: `Petrarks heire' and `Gascoigne the Satyricall wryter'
1st January 1577: New Year Gifts


Providing a coherent overview and introduction to Gascoigne's work, Austen's text will prove highly useful to both advanced and beginning scholars. [...] As one of its greatest strengths, the text's comprehensive introduction to Gascoigne will undoubtedly become a necessary starting point for the serious study of his life and work. MODERN PHILOLOGY

Austen's clearly written and sensible monograph provides a useful guide to the diverse achievements of this major figure in mid-Elizabethan literature. [...] This book significantly enriches our understanding of the literary achievements of an important Elizabethan writer. BULLETIN OF THE SOCIETY FOR RENAISSANCE STUDIES

A timely contribution to studies that, over the past decade, have re-established the centrality of the poet's place in early Elizabethan literature. CAHIERS ELISABETHAINS

A welcome and timely volume. THE REVIEW OF ENGLISH STUDIES

In this comprehensive new addition to Gascoigne studies Austen highlights the importance of Gascoigne's works and how his fashioning of himself as a poet is a central aspect of his oeuvre at this key period in English literary history. MLR
A must-read not only for Gascoigne scholars but also for readers who hope to understand the flowering of the Elizabethan Golden Age in the 1580's and 90's. [...] Austen has done a great service not only to those who love Gascoigne, but also to those who want to capture the foundations of Renaissance poetics usually ascribed to other poets. DISCOVERIES
[An] informative and highly readable biographical study. [...] The figure who emerges from this book is a witty, rhetorically savvy, extremely innovative author deserving of further scrutiny. STUDIES IN ENGLISH LITERATURE
Students of the period can turn to Austen's book for extremely close readings of virtually anything that Gascoigne is known to have produced or done, set in an updated understanding of his life and motivation. AMERICAN NOTES & QUERIES

A valuable re-introduction to the career of an important and protean Tudor figure. RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY

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