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Insular BooksVernacular manuscript miscellanies in late medieval Britain$
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Margaret Connolly and Raluca Radulescu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265833

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265833.001.0001

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Entertainment Networks, Reading Communities, and the Early Tudor Anthology

Entertainment Networks, Reading Communities, and the Early Tudor Anthology

Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson C. 813

Chapter:
(p.231) 13 Entertainment Networks, Reading Communities, and the Early Tudor Anthology
Source:
Insular Books
Author(s):

Deborah Youngs

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265833.003.0013

This chapter focuses on an eight-quire anthology of secular lyrics, prophecies, and prose satires compiled by Humfrey Welles, a Staffordshire esquire, in the 1520s and 1530s (Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson C. 813). While Welles appears to have written substantial parts of the book and was a continuing presence throughout the anthology’s creation, this chapter argues that we should not attribute the volume to the impulses of just one man. Rather, it was the product of several overlapping communities, and its lyrics preserve the heroic memories of both well-known courtiers and the local Staffordshire community. By placing the manuscript in the context of the entertainment networks that criss-crossed the Midlands and stretched down to the royal court, it points to the group occasions and household locations that likely influenced the lyrical composition of the manuscript.

Keywords:   anthology, gentry, household entertainment, Staffordshire, cultural networks

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