The Maitland Quarto

The Maitland Quarto

A New Edition of Cambridge, Magdalene College, Pepys Library MS 1408

Edited by Joanna M. Martin


Scottish Text Society



New edition of one of the most important collections of sixteenth-century Scots poetry.
The Maitland Quarto Manuscript was compiled in c.1586 in the circle of the Maitland Family of Lethington, East Lothian. It is a highly significant and rich collection of Older Scots poetry. It contains the most complete collection of the poems of Sir Richard Maitland, judge, privy counsellor, and Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland under Mary Queen of Scots, together with poems attributed to Maitland's heir, John Maitland of Thirlestane, Chancellor to James VI, and to leading writers and intellectuals, including the king himself, Alexander Montgomerie, and Alexander Arbuthnot. It attests to new developments in Scottish literature in the late sixteenth century by including many unique examples of Calvinist lyric, the earliest known British Country House poem, and Sapphic verse, as well as poems influenced by Italian and French sources. It also provides evidence for the role of women in the composition, collection and copying of Older Scots verse.
This critical edition offers fresh access to the fascinating contents of this important manuscript. It provides an authoritative text, with full modern annotation and glossary. Its introduction and notes address the textual transmission of the poems, and offer detailed contextualization of them in both historical and literary terms.

Joanna Martin is Lecturer in Middle English at the University of Nottingham.


June 2015
3 black and white illustrations
540 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Scottish Text Society
Scottish Text Society Fifth Series
ISBN: 9781897976401
Format: Hardback
Scottish Text Society
BISAC LIT004120, POE000000, POE002000
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email


The Maitland Quarto it is refreshing to see the works of an age brought so well to print in all their complexity and beauty, and to have them presented in such a scholarly manner. INNES REVIEW

[T]his edition is a crucial and generous contribution not only to Older Scots, but to medieval studies as a whole. SPECULUM

The up-to-date, comprehensive information included is a pivotal starting point for anyone studying Maitland's poetry or the literary cultures of the MQ. Scholars and enthusiasts of Older Scots literature and literary cultures would be remiss if they fail to add this text to their library. JOURNAL OF THE NORTHERN RENAISSANCE

Also in Series