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Liminary poems in Latin verse presentation manuscripts in England c. 1550-1650

Colombo, Raffaella; (2022) Liminary poems in Latin verse presentation manuscripts in England c. 1550-1650. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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In early modern England, manuscripts presented as gifts often featured liminary poems (threshold poems). This thesis charts the usage, features and relevance of such liminary poems, focussing on the Latin side of the bilingual English literature of the time, and considering presentation manuscripts containing Latin poetry composed c.1550-1650. Previous scholarship on early modern paratextual verse has focused almost exclusively on commendatory poems in printed books, while the evidence of manuscript sources and the function of liminary poems in manuscript publications has been neglected. Moving from a reconsideration of current scholarship, this thesis extends and revises existing conceptual frameworks in the light of the manuscript sources, distinguishing between liminary poems composed by the author of a work (typical of manuscripts) and by others (typical of commendatory verse in print publications). The thesis demonstrates that generic and structural characteristics of presentation manuscripts influence the type and contents of liminary poems. Manuscripts containing a single long poem feature patron-oriented liminary poems such as dedicatory and laudatory poems; by contrast, in collections of poems, liminary verse tends to be more book-oriented and aimed at a generic reader instead of a specific patron. Multi-authored university and school collections also exhibit distinctive patterns in their use of liminary verse. In school manuscripts, the self-conscious representation of the young authors as schoolchildren emerges as the salient characteristic of liminary poems. University collections share this feature, but their liminary poems are more influenced by printing practices. Overall, this analysis of liminary practices according to their context and the texts they accompany broadens the perspective on the circulation of print and manuscript poetry in early modern England. This approach also contributes to the rehabilitation of Latin poetry in the Anglo-Latin manuscript culture, suggesting further explorations in the bilingual literature of early modern times.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Liminary poems in Latin verse presentation manuscripts in England c. 1550-1650
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10154186
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