The Literary Culture of Early Modern Scotland: Manuscript Production and Transmission, 1560-1625

The Literary Culture of Early Modern Scotland: Manuscript Production and Transmission, 1560-1625

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This study presents a history of the literary culture of early-modern Scotland (1560-1625), based on extensive study of the literary manuscript. It argues for the importance of three key places of production of such manuscripts: the royal court, burghs and towns, and regional houses (stately
homes, but also minor lairdly and non-aristocratic households). This attention to place facilitates a discussion of, respectively, courtly, urban or civic, and regional literary cultures. Sebastiaan Verweij's methodology stems from bibliographical scholarship and the study of the 'History of the
Book', and more specifically, from a school of manuscript research that has invigorated early-modern English literary criticism over the last few decades. The Literary Culture of Early Modern Scotland will also intersect with a programme of reassessment of early-modern Scottish culture that is
currently underway in Scottish studies. Traditional narratives of literary history have often regarded the Reformation of 1560 as heralding a terminal cultural decline, and the Union of Crowns of 1603, with the departure of king and court, was thought to have brought the briefest of renaissances (in
the 1580s and 1590s) to an early end. This book purposefully straddles the Union, in order to make possible the rediscovery of Scotland's refined and sophisticated renaissance culture.