|About the Book|
This book is a study of Anglo-Scottish literary relations in the later Middle Ages and early Renaissance. It attempts to show how those poets who have frequently been called Scottish Chaucerians (James I, Henryson, Dunbar and Douglas) drew upon English writing. In the best Middle Scots poetry we see an order of invention and technical mastery that is comparable with that of Chaucers work, and this is sometimes accompanied by shrewd commentary on Chaucers art. Evidence of such an independent and critical view of Chaucer is strikingly absent in contemporary English poetry, and the book accounts for some of the differences between Northern and Southern poetry in the later Middle Ages. Above all, this study reveals that the poetry of the fifteenth and early sixteenth century in Scotland is a rich and extremely varied body of literature, ranging from the carefully wrought philosophical comedy of The Kingis Quair to the tragic grandeur of Henrysons The Testament of Cresseid, from the pointed satires and grotesqueries of Dunbar to Douglas vigorous and sensitive translation of the Aeneid.