ATKINSON, LAURIE,RAY (2021) Dreaming of authors, authoring dreams: Literary authorship in the framed first-person allegories of John Skelton, William Dunbar, Stephen Hawes, and Gavin Douglas. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
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This thesis investigates the distinctive conceptions of literary authorship of John Skelton, William Dunbar, Stephen Hawes, and Gavin Douglas by means of close and comparative readings of their utilisation of a particular form and mode: framed first-person allegory. Each of the poets examined makes claims for the textual authority of their writings—that is, those qualities which make a text worth reading and reproducing. For most, those claims are based on the attribution of the work to a human author, whose skill, learning, and morality add value to the text. Skelton’s strategy for authorial self-promotion of this kind is to represent himself as an author within an allegorical dream poem, for which Chaucer provides the most important models in English. Yet for others, framed first-person allegory functions as a largely depersonalised form and mode, a compilation and negotiation of texts and tradition, or sometimes as a way to represent the kind of author that the poet is not. This thesis asks: what kind of authors are imagined in the framed first-person allegories of late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century English and Scottish poets?; but also, when is self-representation-as-author not considered to be the most effective strategy for authorial self-promotion, and what are the alternatives? Responses to changing systems of patronage and publication, cognizance of certain humanist ideals, and intersection of what have been understood as ‘medieval’ and ‘modern’ attitudes to poetic predecessors, especially Chaucer, are considered in the works of four poets who have too often been consigned to the footnotes of larger diachronic surveys. The picture that emerges is of an interconnected but multifaceted array of literary authorships, responsive to, but not determined by, contemporary political, social, and technological factors, and which complicate accounts of ‘the emergence of the English author’ in late medieval and early modern England and Scotland.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Keywords:||authorship, frame narrative, first person, allegory, medieval, early modern, John Skelton, William Dunbar, Stephen Hawes, Gavin Douglas|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||03 Aug 2021 10:12|