The Burley manuscript

Edited by Peter Redford

The Burley manuscript


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0448-9
  • Pages: 464
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: November 2016
  • BIC Category: Literature: history & criticism, Literary studies: c 1400 to c 1600, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism, Early Modern Literature, Literature, European history: Renaissance, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, LITERARY CRITICISM / Renaissance, HISTORY / Renaissance, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literature & literary studies / Poetry
  • Series: The Manchester Spenser


The Burley manuscript is a miscellany compiled in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, unique in size and variety. In this study, annotated transcriptions are given of all of the private letters in English and all the English verse. Incipit transcriptions and identification are provided for each of the other items, including those in foreign languages. The history and provenance of the collection are described in detail, with lengthy notes on memorial transcription of verse and prose, and the clandestine interception of letters. The book makes available texts, annotations and commentary that will have an impact on a wide range of scholarship. It will be found useful to literary scholars, editors, and social historians, illuminating such diverse subjects as the circulation of verse, the correspondence of John Donne, the self-fashioning of English gentlemen after the classical Romans of their class and the government's paranoiac spying on its own citizens.


'Although some recent use has been made of the manuscript and there is Beal's detailed part-description of its contents, a full account of it has long been needed. Peter Redford's edition of the manuscript for the Manchester Spenser series does much to supply this . There is much good work in the edition and Redford should be congratulated for making the manuscript much better known.'
H. R. Woudhuysen, Lincoln College, University of Oxford, 71.1 (Spring 2018) issue of Renaissance Quarterly


1. History
2. Description
3. William Parkhurst
4. Provenance
5. Interception
6. Memory
7. The manuscript text
8. Private letters: commentary and notes
11. English verse: commentary and notes
General Index


Peter Redford is an Independent Scholar

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