By John MacQueen
This ebook provides an immense second look of the works of the fifteenth-century Scottish poet, Robert Henryson. Encompassing the whole variety of the poet’s paintings, Professor John MacQueen opens up formerly unexplored components of either Henryson’s literary perform and his underlying ethical and philosophical imaginative and prescient. MacQueen argues that numerology is important to the highbrow panorama that formed Henryson’s improvement as a poet, and that numerological styles and buildings are embedded all through his corpus, revealing themselves now not easily in such brazenly allegorical works because the testomony of Cresseid, but in addition in lots of of the Fables in addition. This booklet accordingly recovers for a contemporary viewers traits to which Henryson’s unique readers may were alert, whereas whilst conveying whatever of the strength and pleasure of his highbrow and poetic tradition. via a sequence of shut and delicate readings of the poems, the booklet provides an unique and lucid account of Henryson’s paintings that won't simply interact experts in medieval Scottish literature, yet also will entice a much wider readership with broader pursuits in narrative and poetic shape.
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Extra info for Complete and Full with Numbers. The Narrative Poetry of Robert Henryson (Scroll 5) (Scottish Cultural Review of Language and Literature)
There are no clouds because the northern wind has purified the air, and any showers are of hail. The chill of the blasted spring forces the narrator to retire to his more comfortable chalmer, “living-and-bed-room”. Love (Venus and Cupid) may be hot, but for an old man on a cold night it takes some kindling. 2 Venus opens her month in a hostile position, numerically as well as astrologically. She first appears in stanza 2, a number which often signifies duplicity. 3 As Douglas Gray notes: “The description of the goddess embodies the traditional paradox of the duality of love, and expresses her own ‘doubilnes’, which delights to bring sorrow after joy” (Gray 1979: 186) – not an astrological feature.
The vernacular usage is presupposed, and regarded as established, in the Latin of the Vitae Dunkeldensis Ecclesiae Episcoporum of Alexander Myln (1474– 1548), whose life partly overlapped with Henryson’s. Robert Boswell, for instance, who in 1500 left his position at Dunkeld to become dean of Restalrig, is said by Myln to have built part of the precentor’s manse: reliqua mansi edificia Magister Robertus Boswell construxit, and to have repaired the manse of the prebendary of Fungarth: mansionem ejusdem prebendae Magister Robertus Boswell succentor honeste reparavit (Vitae Dunkeldensis 1831: 58, 62).
1), but the Fasti, familiar throughout the Middle Ages, would have provided him with enough information. His main authority, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, also begins, it will be remembered, with a religious festival held on 1 April, the Trojan Palladion, in the course of which Troilus mocks the behaviour of the followers of love, only to fall an immediate victim himself. Henryson’s elderly narrator attempts a more subdued but related role. In the propitiously numbered stanza 4, he tries to take advantage of the time with a prayer to Venus.