Fictional elements in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century sonnet sequences and early modern fictions.
Opinions are divided on whether sonnet sequences are narratives or not. By and large, critics working in the Anglophone tradition do not believe them to be so. Although the speaker of the sonnets is viewed as distinct from the historical person of the writer, this acknowledgement of fictionality does not equate to an acknowledgement that the sequences are either integral or narrative works, nor is having a fictional speaker taken to mean that the genre will function as a work of fiction. By way of example of the variety of opinions on the subject, Heather Dubrow argues that readers impose narrative on sonnets that resist it, yet, in the same argument she proposes an alternative narrative arrangement of the sonnets. (2) A critic who argued in favour of the idea of integrity, Shakespearean scholar John Kerrigan, advocated it not in relation to the sequence itself, but to the Quarto's 'tripartite Delian structure'. (3) Taking its name from Samuel Daniel's Delia (1592), this structure is exhibited in a number of English sonnet sequences including Shakespeare's, and consists of the sonnet sequence proper, Anacreontic verse (verse on lighter or mythological themes), and a complaint (a narrative poem, often written in the first person). Literary critics working in the Italian tradition or cultural historians such as David Buchbinder, Teodolinda Barolini, Marco Santagata, Roland Greene, or Jacques Barzun, on the other hand, acknowledge that sonnet sequences function as works of fiction. (4) Without focusing on the vast body of literature which argues that autobiographies (5) or calendrical or numerical structures (6) may be concealed in the sonnet sequences, I propose that our contemporary editorial focus on individual sonnets is anachronistic, and that the early modern writer and reader would have seen sonnet sequences as integral works belonging to a genre with strong links to narrative genres. I will describe fictional mechanisms and printing practices present in the early editions of English sixteenth- and seventeenth-century sonnet sequences and argue that they are related to earlier, contemporary, and later narrative genres, such as romances and early novels, and therefore have a place in the history of fictional genres. (7)
The nature of fictionality, the relationship between autobiography and fiction, fiction and narrative, and the origins of the novel are vast topics, exceeding the scope of this article; from Fielding and Bakhtin, to Terry Eagleton and Franco Moretti, (8) opinions are many and wide-ranging. The two points I wish to make here, to add to these debates, are quite specific: first, that elements of what we now call the novel have developed in unexpected places, and that fictional and narrative functions can be located in the sonnet sequence, a genre of disputed narrativity, suggests the genre belongs within a broader examination of how novelistic techniques have developed over time; and second, that the correspondences between fictional mechanisms and printing practices used in narratives and sonnet sequences would suggest that authors of sonnet sequences may have been writing first-person fictions, and that printers and readers may have perceived sonnet sequences and narrative genres as related.
In our consideration of the nature of genres, we generally overlook early modern typesetting and printing practices, which are highly significant from the perspective of material history as they throw light on the question of how the early modern readers perceived their genres. In other words, the decisions that the early modern people made when organizing their texts offer important insights into how they viewed the genres themselves. I will be arguing that printing conventions such as arguments, marginal notes, the absence of numbering, and stanzaic grouping of the sonnets on a page, often used in printing works of fiction, are used also in the early modern editions of sonnet sequences. Finally, I shall argue that early modern authors' critical descriptions of their own or contemporary sonnet sequences sometimes also suggest that they perceived sonnet sequences as integral works rather than compendia of individual poems.
Since 'narratives' have been defined in numerous ways, it may be useful to clarify that I am using the term to denote a work which engenders interest, suspense, and emphatic involvement that the reader feels for the main character. In the context of sonnet sequences, this character is usually called a 'speaker', not a 'character'; nevertheless, I would like to argue that the 'speaker's' story, unfolded by the consecutive reading of numerous sonnets, engenders 'narrative' reader-responses, of a kind associated with reading fictions proper. This is not the same reaction as the 'lyrical' reader-response, usually associated with reading individual poems, where the reader is left feeling that a deep truth has been glimpsed and recognized. In other words, it is not its form--prose or verse--that makes a work a narrative, but its ability to trigger a reader's 'narrative response'. Many of the greatest early narratives were written in verse, and prose is a relatively recent invention. Among the fictional elements found in sonnet sequences are veridical (truth-telling) frames, arguments, meta-fiction, and humour. These are also used in many of the classical and medieval narratives that precede the sonnet sequence, coeval early modern narratives, and, finally, the early novel that comes later. That such fictional elements are found in early modern sonnet sequences suggests that the genre can be seen not only as a continuation of the classical narrative tradition, but also as related to both coeval narratives and the early novel.
A truth-telling frame is a fictional device claiming the truthfulness of the succeeding account. It is, of course, never actually truthful, but this may not always have been as clear to an early reader as it is to us today. Veridical frames are often written in the first person, in the form of direct address by a narrator, editor, or author; truthfulness is claimed or implied. A frame works to help suspend disbelief and introduce the reader into the action; it engages and titillates; it is often meta-fictional, displaying the writer's skill and drawing attention to the writing process. Arguments summarize the action of a chapter, book, or canto, a constitutive element of a longer piece. They are usually written in the third person, and serve to tickle the reader's interest or help the orientation in the text. They are mainly used in narrative works (complaints, dream sequences, heroic and epistolary poems, romances, and early novels), but also in sonnet sequences.
To choose a few distinctive examples, The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius, written in late 2nd century CE, utilizes a truth-telling frame: 'Because your ears are deadened and your mind is closed, you are contemptuous of reports that may well be true. Heavens, man, you aren't too bright in your quite perverse belief that all that seems unfamiliar to the ear, or unprecedented to the eye, or even too hard for our thoughts to grasp, is to be accounted lies.' (9) Although the claim to truthfulness found in Petronius's The Satyricon is implicit rather than explicit, the work, sometimes considered the first novel and dated between the 1st and 2nd century CE, can be related to the sonnet sequences as a first-person work preoccupied with erotic subject matter. More importantly, as it utilizes the format of a Menippean satire--first-person prose with embedded poems, which Dante uses in La Vita Nuova--the work is also considered to be the original sonnet sequence. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, (10) written in French in the fourteenth century, available in other European languages by 1500, and well known to the educated public and travellers, has a first-person narrator who offers a scrupulously truthful account, but tells a highly fictitious tale. Sir Thomas More uses the same structure in his Utopia, published in 1516, (11) and Marguerite de Navarre's The Heptameron (12) also claims absolute truthfulness. The Heptameron, modelled on Boccaccio's Decameron, is introduced by a double veridical frame: the framing story, of noblemen and women who had survived the danger of a flood but lost their servants, is presented as true; in addition, storytellers within the tale have an overwhelming concern with the truth of the stories they are about to tell each other. To make matters more complex, the same device is used for non-fictional accounts that purport to be based on the truth and personal observation. Examples of this include the travel account Of the Russe Commonwealth (1591) (13) by Giles Fletcher (author of the sonnet sequence Licia)--written as a record of his three-month visit to Russia as Ambassador, which he deems an account 'of more importance than delight, and rather true than strange' (14)--and William Biddulph's Travels into Africa, Asia and To the Blacke Sea (1609). (15) Both works claim absolute truthfulness, but they do not seek to entertain, rather they seek to inform. Their claims to factual truth are hard to distinguish from veridical frames introducing fictions, which also make claims to factual truth. It is the content of the work to follow that determines the intent of the claim for truth. Authors of narrative fictions who want their readers to suspend disbelief also imitated this device. Joseph Hall assumes a quasi-scientific voice in his satire The Discovery of a New World (1609), (16) as do Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift in their 'travel' narratives, Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Gulliver's Travels (1726). (17)
It is less known, however, that fictional mechanisms are also used in early modern editions of sonnet sequences. My examination of fictional mechanisms used in sonnet sequences seeks to show that this genre should be included in our consideration of the precursors of longer narratives. Third-person and first-person narration are qualitatively different and possibly have different origins altogether. Not all the works I examine in this article are written in the first person, but they all utilize veridical fictions. The ancestry of the first-person novel is shared with the ancestry of the sonnet sequence: the amor, the vision, the dream sequence. This is also the model of Dante's La Vita Nuova,
precursor of sonnet sequences. Their veridical frame, and the way they are treated by early modern printers, would suggest that they might have been read with an eye to the embedded narratives. These factors relate them to fictions such as Defoe's Moll Flanders and Robinson Crusoe, in which the quality of the fiction depends on the author's insistence on truthfulness and absence of fiction. Consequently, I contend that the sonnet sequence writing vogue, spanning four centuries across several European countries, may have had more to do with the development of narration--particularly first-person narration--than previously thought.
I. The Sonnet Sequence and Truth-Telling Fictions
The logical place to begin a discussion of truth-telling frames would be Anne Locke's Meditation of a Penitent Sinner, vpon the 51. Psalme (1560), (18) the first sonnet sequence published in the English language. It was printed as a part of Sermons of John Calvin, translated out of Frenche into Englishe as a paraphrase of Psalm 51. (19) The name of Anne Locke, its translator, does not appear anywhere in the work, but for the A. L. printed beneath the dedicatory letter explaining her translation strategies. The Meditation, printed at the end of the Sermons, is introduced by a truth-telling frame in which the narrator claims that he (20) is not the author, but that he has simply received the sonnets from a friend: 'I haue added this meditation folowyng vnto the ende of this boke, not as parcel of maister Caluines worke, but for that it well agreeth with the same argument, and was deliuered me by my friend with whom I knew I might be so bolde to vse & publish as it pleased me.' This veridical frame asserts that the work is genuine, authored by somebody other than the narrator, and worthy of being published. It also claims that the fact that the work has been published in the first place is more important than the question of authorship: this is a stance of humility, yet with praise for the work implicit in it. The frame protects its female author from accusations of frivolity or presumption.
Variations of the truth-telling frame abound in the sonnet sequences, often including meta-fictional, disparaging references to the poets' own work. In his Sonnets to the fairest Coelia (1593), (21) also published anonymously, William Percy, in the false modesty typical of the period, calls his poems 'toyes' and claims he wrote them for himself alone. (22) Although Percy's narrator claims authorship, he remains anonymous and insists that the work was printed by accident: he has lent it to a friend, but it was 'secretlie committed to the Presse', presumably because it was so good that the friend could not resist the temptation.
Similar devices are present in the narrative prose of the period. The first-person narrator of William Baldwin's Beware the Cat (1535)--considered by William Ringler to be England's first novel (23)--also attributes the responsibility for the story to a third party, not the first-person narrator:
I have penned for your mastership's pleasure one of the stories which Master Streamer told the last Christmas, and which you so fain would have heard reported by Master Ferrers himself.
In Robert Greene's complex romance Perimedes the Blacksmith, published in 1588, the narrator also blames a friend for his editorial decisions:
And thus, gentlemen, at my friends request, I haue put in print those bad sonnets, which otherwise I had resolued to have made obscure, like the pictures that Phidias drew in his prentize-hood. (24)
Over a century later, the narrator of Atalantis, a prose work from 1709 by Delarivier Manley, does the same:
My Lord, How vast must be the Ambition of an unknown and meer Translator, to dare to Hope from so Great a Prince, his most Noble Protection for so small a Trifle? ... A Friend of mine, that made the Campaign, met with it last Year at Bruxels; and thus, a la Francois, put it into my Hands, with a desire it might Visit the Court of Great Britain. (25)
It is, of course, difficult to suggest that Atalantis may be considered an early novel without bearing in mind that opinions on the origin of the novel differ greatly. Ian Watt gives the distinction to Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe; (26) William Ringler bestows it on a work almost two hundred years younger, William Baldwin's Beware the Cat, penned in 1553, a year before Lazarillo de Tormes, a Spanish work sometimes called the first picaresque novel; Helisenne de Crenne and Giovanni Boccaccio have also been mentioned as candidates for the distinction. (27) Others see the origins of the novel in medieval Romances or Roman narrative works such as Apuleius's The Golden Ass or Petronius s The Satyricon. I do not wish to claim any special status for Manley's Atalantis, except to acknowledge clearly that it precedes Defoe's Moll Flanders (1722) by thirteen years in featuring a narrator whose gender is different from that of the writer--a technique that will later be used by Richardson in the writing of Clarissa and Pamela.
The conventions of claiming the status of translator or editor, or attributing the story to a third party can also be seen in Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719): 'If ever the Story of any private Man's Adventures in the World were worth making Publick, and were acceptable when Publish'd, the Editor of this Account thinks this will be so'. (28) Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726) offers yet another example: 'The Author of these Travels, Mr. Lemuel Gulliver, is my antient and intimate Friend; there is likewise some relation between us by the Mother's Side. ... This Volume would have been at least twice as large, if I had not made bold to strike out innumerable Passages.' (29) Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko (1688) is also supported by a veridical frame:
I do not pretend, in giving you the History of this Royal Slave, to entertain my Reader with the Adventures of a feign'd Hero, whose Life and Fortunes Fancy may manage at the Poet's Pleasure; nor, in relating the Truth, design to adorn it with any Accidents, but such as arriv'd in earnest to him: And it shall come simply into the World, recommended by its own proper Merits, and natural Intrigues; there being enough of Reality to support it, and to render it diverting, without the Addition of Invention. (30)
In the mid-eighteenth century the device can be found in Samuel Richardson's Pamela (1741)--' ... because an Editor may reasonably be supposed to judge with an Impartiality which is rarely to be met with in an Author towards his own Works' (31)--and Clarissa (1748), (32) where being the imaginary editor is better than being the author, and where the role is used to 'sell' the work by an implicit claim to objectivity.
Like authors of sonnet sequences, authors of early novels employ the truth-telling frame to give their fictions an aura of believability and draw the reader in. That Anne Locke's sequence is a reworking of a psalm, where each line of the psalm is developed into a sonnet, with a carefully crafted first-person voice introduced by a veridical framework, suggests that Locke perceives the sequence as an integral work and is using fictional and narrative approaches to involve the reader and lend emotional power to the theology of her verse.
First-person narrators often adopt stances of false modesty with regard to the value of their works. In the frame used in Samuel Daniel's sequence Delia (1592), it is the actions of a printer which force the reluctant narrator to publish: 'seeing I was betraide by the indiscretion of a greedie Printer, and had some of my sonnets bewraide to the world, unconnected: doubling the like of the rest, I am forced to publish that which I never ment.' (33) The slightly more complex frame Robert Tofte uses in his sequence Laura (1597), (34) gives no indication of the identity of the author, except for the initials following the Dedication, and builds an air of mystery around the work. The narrator claims he is not the author, but that, together with a 'friend', he had a hand in exposing the sonnet sequence to the dangers of piracy:
What the Gentleman was that wrote these Verses, I know not; and what she is for whome they are deuised, I cannot ghesse: but thus much I can say, that as they came into the hands of a friend of mine by mere fortune; so hapned I vpon them by as great chaunce. Onely in this I must confesse we are both too blame, that whereas he hauing promised to keep priuate the originall, and I the copie, secret: we both haue consented to send it abroad, as common: presuming chiefly vpon your accustomed curtesies.
To make things even more mysterious and enticing, to the work is appended an apology titled 'A Frends iust excuse about the Booke and Author, in his absence', which strengthens the frame by introducing an additional riddle. Not all the sonnets appearing in the book were written by the 'author', and the reader must use personal judgement to determine which sonnets are genuine articles, and which written by an impostor--an impossible task. The section is signed by R. B. which are neither the author's nor the printer's initials. The move offers double protection from readers' criticism, whilst also exhorting the reader to pay the highest possible level of attention:
Without the Authors knowledge, ... this Poeme is made thus publiquely knowen: which (with my best indeuour) the Gentleman himselfe (suspecting what is now prooued too true) ... earnestly intreated me to preuent. But I came at the last sheetes printing, and finde more than thirtie Sonnets not his, intermixt with his: help it cannot be, but by the wel iudging Reader, who will with lesse paine distinguist betweene them, than I on this sodaine possibly can. To him then I referre that labour ... R. B. (35)
With the benefit of hindsight, we are quick today to recognize the fictionality of the frames Daniel, Tofte, Manley, Swift, Richardson, and Defoe are using. It is worth remembering that, like many sonnet sequences, novels with truth-telling frames were also initially published anonymously, and that the deceit would not have been as obvious to their readers as it is to us. The first-person narrator of the Travels of Sir John Mandeville offers an eyewitness account characterized by 'plainness' and absolute veracity, (36) yet describes fantastical events. Nevertheless, the work was respected and had its place in the libraries of Renaissance luminaries. (37) The 1719 edition of Robinson Crusoe is not divided into chapters; the only separate part is the 'Journal' (p. 35), written in the first person and purported to be a verbatim rendering. Gulliver's Travels appeared anonymously, with a portrait of the captain Lemuel Gulliver on the flyleaf. Gulliver's Travels, written partially in jest, details fantastical adventures and unrealistic places, as does Joseph Hall's similarly satirical The Discovery of a New World (1609), but both works utilize the ancient tradition of a believable frame used in travelogues of the past, however fantastical. A veridical frame works to enhance the fictionality of the work by a believable pretence of truthfulness.
Authors also play games with their voice when they conceal their identity or proclaim themselves to be editors. Atalantis (1709) was written by its female author partially in the first person, but in a 'male' voice and Defoe does this in reverse in Moll Flanders. Richardson provides no contents list in the 1748 edition of Clarissa; real and truthful first-person accounts, presumably, do not have lists of contents. Yet he cannot resist a brief account of the 'principal Characters throughout the Whole', not strictly required by a 'truthful account'. By 1748, it seems, readers were savvy enough to be willing to turn a blind eye to such obvious signs of the author's presence. Edward Said accords such ruses cultural as well as fictional power:
More impressive is Richardson playing the role of "mere" editor for Clarissa, simply placing those letters in successive order after they have done what they have done, arranging to fill the text with printer's devices, reader's aide, analytic contents, retrospective meditations, commentary, so that a collection of letters grows to fill the world and occupy all space; to become a circumstance as large and as engrossing as the reader's very understanding. (38)
In Licia (1593), a sonnet sequence published anonymously in the same year as William Percy's, Giles Fletcher's narrator claims authorship but withholds his name, ostensibly to prevent censure. The tongue-in-cheek speaker also shows great pleasure in his anonymity, which enables him to say whatever he wants:
If I were knowne I would intreat in the best manner, and speake for him, whome thou [the Reader] knewest; but being not knowne, thou speakest not against me, and therefore I much care not. ... For this kinde of poetrie wherein I wrote, I did it onelie to trei my humour: and for the matter of love, it may bee I am so devoted to some one, into whose hands these may light by chance, that she may say, which if she doe, then have I the full recompence of my labour, and the Poems have dealt sufficientlie, for the discharge of their owne duetie. (39)
Fletcher says clearly that his sonnets are fictions and that the only thing he needs to write about love is a good imagination. This is a subtle variation on the truth-telling frame--one that makes the work believable by building a vibrant and 'truthful' voice for the author. The tone of the speaker in Fletcher's Licia is humorous; he relishes the opportunity to write without courting the reader. He writes for his pleasure, and to woo a mistress. (Although he does not explicitly claim he wishes to protect her honour, it is worth noting that she is not named or described.) This type of frame appears also in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (1678), a narrative utilizing the medieval convention of the dream sequence; Bunyan's speaker also employs the motif of an author pleasing himself and nobody else as a meta-fictional device, and spreads the frame between the introduction and the conclusion:
Nor did I undertake Thereby to please my Neighbour, no not I; I did it mine own self to gratifie. Neither did I but vacant seasons spend In this my Scribble, nor did I intend But to divert my self in doing this, From worser thoughts, which make me do amiss. ... Now Reader, I have told my Dream to thee, See if thou canst interpret it to me; Or to thy self, or Neighbour; but take heed Of mis-interpreting: for that, instead Of doing good, will but thy self abuse; By mis-interpreting evil ensues. (40)
Bunyan's narrator happily claims authorship. As in Fletcher's sequence, the frame is wrapped around the work, divided between the introduction and conclusion; the work proper is set in the middle, as is common in the period. Both Fletcher's and Bunyan's frames have a meta-fictional purpose: they draw attention to the author's writing process and highlight his wit. The reader is given a role and a responsibility in interpreting the work.
Major sonneteers adopt a similar strategy in their sonnets and seek to heighten the reader's interest in the persona of the poet. (41) Michael Drayton for instance, imagines a reader whose stance is so critical as to be comical, while Shakespeare pretends to berate his lines for a characteristic that is usually associated with having a unique style of writing easily recognizable by readers:
Me thinks I see some crooked Mimick ieere And taxe my Muse with this fantastick grace, Turning my papers, asks what haue we heere? Making withall, some filthy anticke face. (42) Why write I still all one, ever the same, ... That every word doth almost tell my name (43)
Protection of a lady's honour also often features in truth-telling frames as an excuse for anonymity of the narrator/speaker. Emaricdulfe by E. C. (1595) employs this motif:
Both louing friends, forasmuch as by reason of an ague, I was inforced to keepe my chamber, and to abandon idleness, I tooke in hande my pen to finish an idle worke I had begun, at the command and seruice of a faire Dame, being most exquisitely well featured, and of as excellent good carriage, adorned with virtue: and vnderstanding the storie, and knowing you both to be of sufficient valour, wit and honestie presumed to dedicate the same to you, not doubting but that you will vouchsafe for my sake, to maintaine the honor of so sweete a Saint. (44)
Protection of a lady's honour is a motif highly relevant to Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko (1688); later, Daniel Defoe uses a subtle variation on this frame to construct the narrator of the introduction to his Moll Flanders (1722), where truthfulness and protection of the lady's honour are represented as paramount, and related to each other:
The World is so taken up of late with Novels and romances, that it will be hard for a private History to be taken for Genuine, where the Names and other Circumstances of the Person are concealed ... The Author is here supposed to be writing her own History, and in the very beginning of her Account, she gives the Reasons why she thinks fit to conceal her true Name. (45)
Once again, it is easy to take for granted the fictionality and the attribution of works originally published anonymously. Today, we are well used to truth-telling frames introducing first-person fictions. But I question whether contemporary readers could see their fictional character as clearly as we can, or indeed if the distinction between 'lyrical' (a sense that a deep truth has been glimpsed), and 'narrative' (an engaging account) was as clear-cut as it is for us.
It is worth noting here that Defoe's use of the third person to introduce a first-person story reverses the usual approach. This introduction has a dual function as a truth-telling frame and an argument. As a frame, it works to suspend disbelief by reference to the protection of the lady's honour; as an argument, it summarizes the action for the reader and makes the work more accessible. Defoe's narrator's insistence on the factual nature of his novel goes beyond the text and is supported by printing practices governing the presentation of this work, so no tables of contents or marginal notes have been used. Yet, as is well known, claims of absolute truthfulness, minimal interpolation, and 'natural writing' are common to fictional narratives, and appear in equal measure in early sonnet sequences.
II. Arguments (Summaries) and Linking with Narratives
Arguments such as Defoe's introduction are another convention of fiction and we are used to seeing them in all manner of narrative works, but it is not well known that they are also used in early editions of poem sequences. In his EKAT0MT1A[theta]IA or Passionate Centurie of Loue (1582), (46) Thomas Watson builds a vibrant and vital author-persona who shows obsessive care to showcase the support of his poet friends (47) as well as his knowledge of the Classics, French, and Italian poets. References to them, both direct and concealed, are ubiquitous, as are references to his own works. Watson represents himself as a poet working within a literary tradition, but also of his own time. He introduces sonnets in his sequence by arguments very similar to those found in romances. It is impossible not to be charmed by the carefully constructed third-person voice:
The Author in this Passion taketh but occasion to open his estate in loue; the miserable accidents whereof are sufficiently describd hereafter in the copious varietie of his deuises ... And where he mentioneth that once hee scorned loue, hee alludeth to a peece of worke, whiche he wrote long since, De Remedio Amoris, which he hath lately perfected, to the good likinge of many that haue seene and perused it, though not fully to his owne fancy, which causeth him as yet to kepe it backe from the printe. The Author faineth here, that Loue, essaying with his brand, to fire the heart of some such Lady, on whome it would not worke ... applied it vnto his owne brest and ther by foolishlie consumed him selfe. His inuention hath some relation vnto the Epitaph of Loue, written by M. Girolimo Parabosco. (48)
In adopting this technique for his arguments, Watson, an accomplished reader of French and Italian (and the ultimate gilder of lilies in translating Petrarch into Latin) could be following the example of Italian and French works. Marguerite de Navarre's The Heptameron (1558) has a frame within a frame, with a double concern for building a mirage of truth; and in the early modern English edition (1597) arguments are given before each story, or 'Nouell' (probably following the example of the Italian novella, a longer story). (49) The idea of using arguments to introduce cantos is omnipresent in editions of Italian verse narratives printed in the sixteenth century. For instance, the 1555 edition of Dante's first-person Divina Comedia, edited by famous sixteenth-century writer of narrative poems, Lodovico Dolce, has an argomento at the beginning of each canto; (50) Boccaccio's Fiammetta (1557) (51) also has them, as does his Amorosa Visione (1531). (52) Sixteenth-century editions of Matteo Maria Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato (Vinegia, 1560), Ludovico Dolce's Orlando (1572), (53) and Torquato Tasso's Gierusalemme liberata (1584) (54) all contain argomenti; by the middle of the seventeenth century they were starting to disappear. In Giovanni Battista Lalli's L'Eneide (1651), (55) their absence is keenly felt in an enormous work of twelve cantos containing over 2100 ottave rime. (56) Additionally, sixteenth-century editorial interpolations to these editions often refer to authors in the third person, in the same fashion as do Watson's arguments, but clearly not written by the authors themselves. At the end of each canto of the 1555 edition of the Comedia, Dante is called 'poeta'. In Boccaccio's Fiammetta, the author is referred to unceremoniously as 'Boccaccio': a marginal note reads, for instance, 'Il Boccaccio qui si dimonstra non molto guidicioso' ('Boccaccio shows himself to be less than discerning'). (57)
In England and Scotland, arguments are often used for narratives, whether written in verse or prose. The Scottish poet Gavin Douglas utilizes (and lists) Arguments for his first-person narrative poem The Palice of Honour (1579): (58)
ARGUMENT OF PART I. The poet gangs into a gardyne--Falls into a swoun--Is transportit to a desert--Complaint agan Fortoun--Court of MINERVA apperis--Wise men hir attendants--Gangand till the PALACE OF HONOUR--Court of DIANA--Court of VENUS--Hir attendants--The poet complains agan her: and is bound and broht befoir hir court--His defens, and hir reply--He is condemnit. ARGUMENT OF PART II. The Court of the MUSES apperis--Famous poets thair attendants--CALLIOPE inquiris VENUS what the poet had done--He is reprevit; and singis in praise of VENUS--CALLIOPE gives him till a nymph with wham he travellis our monie countries, and restis on Parnassus--A festival, at whilk OVID and uther poets appear--Proceiding with the nymph, the poet cumis to a plesand rock in a plane.
Arguments summarizing the fantastical lands in which the narrator travels are provided in the lists of contents preceding Joseph Hall's The Discovery of a NewWorld (1609): 'Chap I. The Author sets out onhis third voyage; is taken-by Pyrates. The Malice of a Dutchman. His Arrival at an Island. He is received into Laputa.'59 The device is also used by Jonathan Swift in his Gulliver's Travels: 'Chap II. The Humours and Dispositions of the Laputians described. An account of their Learning. Of the King and his Court. The Author's Reception there. The Inhabitants Subject to Fears and Disquietudes. An Account of the Women.' (60)
Inviting readers to find deep and profitable meanings in the work before them is another motif commonly found in Watson's arguments, as well as in many other sonnet sequences of the period. It is also often found in the arguments accompanying narrative works and early novels. It can be found, for instance, on the title page of Robert Greene's humorous romance Never too late (1590):
Sent to all youthfull Gentlemen; to roote out the infectious follies, that ouer-reching conceits foster in the spring time of their youth. Decyphering in a true English historie, those particular vanities, that with their frostie vapours nip the blossoms of euerie ripe braine, from attaining to his intended perfection. (61)
Its sequel, Francesco's Fortune (also 1590), also features such a device--'Wherein is discoursed the fall of Loue, the bitter fruites of Follies pleasure, and the repentant sorrowes of a reformed man', (62) as does Samuel Richardson's Pamela (1741)--'If to teach the Man of Fortune how to use it; the Man of Passion how to subdue it; and the Man of Intrigue, how, gracefully, and with Honour to himself, to reclaim' (63)--and Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (1678):
Woulds thou be in a Dream, and yet not sleep? Or would'st thou in a moment laugh and weep? Wouldst thou lose thy self, and catch no harm? And find thy self again without a charm? Wouldst read thy self, and read thou know not what And yet know whether you are blest or not, By reading the same lines? O then come hither, And lay my Book, thy hed, and heart together. (64)
In each Argument, the narrator is equated with the author, truthfulness is claimed, and the content introduced. The main text, written in the first person, interacts with the argument, written in the third person (or the first person in the case of The Pilgrim's Progress). Applying arguments in a sonnet sequence may have appealed to Watson for the illusion it imposes on the main text of narrative flow.
Sonnet sequence writers sometimes link their sequences to narratives more directly. Idea, Michael Drayton's sonnet sequence (first published in 1594), shares a thematic link with contemporary narrative genres in its exploration of the pseudo-authenticity of the first-person voice. Foremost among these genres are the emerging epistolary first-person narratives, such as Drayton's own Heroicall Epistles. Drayton opens the Epistles by referring to Ovid as a poet 'whose Imitator I partly professe to be'. By this, we could assume, amongst other things, that he is claiming to be a 'non-Virgil', and therefore a 'non-epic', but a lyrical poet. (65) But it is clear from the type of work Drayton presents that his understanding of genre is much more fluid than ours. In the same breath, Drayton also claims to have named his work Heroicall because this is a word 'properly understood of Demi-gods ... of Hercules and Aeneas [... and others] who for the greatnesse of Mind come neere to Gods'; (66) clearly a narrative, not a lyrical concern. The Epistles, a compendium of quasi-veridical first-person accounts of love by famous personages and one of England's earliest epistolary narratives, (67) was not only printed jointly with Idea in the editions of1599 and 1619, (68) but also organically connected to them: Drayton links the Epistles to Idea by a connecting sonnet in which he acknowledges that both Epistles and Idea are stories: Epistles a work of fiction about other people's loves, and Idea, the sonnet sequence, a story about its author (or, at the very least, a first-person speaker purporting to be equivalent to the author):
... Edward, and that delicious London Dame, Brandon, and that rich dowager of Fraunce, Surrey, with his fayre paragon of fame, Dudleys mishap, and virtuous Grayes mischance, Their seuerall loues since I before haue showne, Now giue me leaue at last to sing mine owne. (69)
Although this sonnet is not numbered, it is clear that it is intended to be perceived as a part of Idea, as the next sonnet in the book is numbered 2, not 1. This shows that the Epistles and Idea are viewed as inseparable and related. The works are linked in terms of formal hybridity as well: both the Epistles and Idea are written in the first person and talk of love. In the title of the 1599 edition, the epistolary stories are referred to in the title as being 'NEVVLY ENLARGED. VVith Idea'. It has been suggested that, in connecting the works in this way, Drayton could be imitating the tripartite structure of Daniel's sonnet sequence, Delia (which, as has already been mentioned, consists of sonnet sequence proper, Anacreontic verse, and complaint) or the laments in A Mirror for Magistrates; (70) however, I do not think that this is the case. It seems to me highly significant that Drayton (or his printer) considered Epistles and Idea to be parts of one work, or that Idea is seen as an integral part, or an enlargement, of Epistles. It is also significant that the sonnet sequence follows the epistolary stories, and is connected to them by way of an introductory sonnet. Epistolary poems and sonnets are works which, today, we would see as belonging to entirely different genres, one narrative, and one lyrical; and the fact that the sonnet sequence is so obviously and variously connected to the Epistles suggests that early modern writers and printers saw the sonnet sequence in hybrid terms--narrative, as well as lyrical--not just as lyrical poems as we do today. The sonnets are never printed this way in modern editions. (71)
Drayton also calls his sonnet sequence Idea 'IDEA/IN SIXTIE THREE SONNETS': one work, sixty-three constitutive parts. It is also significant that in the 1599 edition, Idea is followed by Odes with other lyrick poesies, in which Drayton calls Odes 'my few Poems': Here, the author clearly considers his odes separate and individual poems, while his Idea poems are not. That Drayton continually revised his sequence and changed the constitutive sonnets and their order in Idea would imply a preoccupation with the work as an integral first-person account of love, as his introductory sonnet, connecting the Epistles to Idea, suggests.
This connecting sonnet functions also as a truth-telling frame which enhances the work's fictionality, as well as its meta-fictionality. Idea is, on one hand, introduced as just another history written in the first person claiming to be true, yet also presents the author as the protagonist who tells his own story, one that purports to be personal and true, and therefore much more interesting, than stories about famous individuals. But the fact that the author is also the protagonist attracts attention to the process of writing, a meta fictional technique. Both help suspension of disbelief and foster interest--a narrative, not a lyrical reader-response.
III. Printers' Marks and Early Modern Perceptions of Integrity
The marginal notes or postille nel margine are devices originating from biblical exegesis, often used in narrative or expostulatory works to summarize the main ideas of particular passages or sections. Marginal notes allow readers to orient themselves within the text (find their place, or return to a favourite argument) at a glance. The 1619 edition of Drayton's works shows that, like many European sonneteers, he is a master of many different fictional forms, including narrative poems, epistolary works, and sonnet sequences. (72) Drayton's narrative poem The Baron's Warres in the Reigne of Edvvard the Second is a third-person romance in ottava rima written in the manner of Italian poets such as Lodovico Ariosto, Lodovico Dolce, and Torquato Tasso (73) and, like them, printed with arguments and marginal notes throughout its six cantos. It is interesting that similar printing conventions are used in Anne Locke's early sonnet sequence, A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner (1560). First, the work contains marginal notes. As each sonnet is a reworking of one line from Psalm 51, exegesis contained in the marginal note adds a semantic layer to its orienting function. If we accept that signposting and printing practices are indicative of the thinking of the early modern editor and reader about the nature of their genres, the early modern printer treats the sonnets as constitutive elements of a larger work. There are a few other little indications of this in Locke's sequence. The title, A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner, is written in the singular, which implies that, unlike today, a sonnet sequence could be seen as a single meditation in many constitutive parts. Importantly, also, the sonnets in the work are printed in close succession without numbers, similar to many Italian narrative romances of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, written in ottava rima and typeset without numeration, (74) but also in the manner of Petrarch's manuscript of Il Canzoniere (75) and Pietro Bembo s influential 1501 edition of the same work. (76) This shows some overlap in the perception of the writers and printers of the role of the constitutive elements in genres which we would today consider 'narrative' and 'lyrical', and that early modern printers and writers perceived no such clear divisions.
Anne Locke's sonnet sequence was printed relatively early in English printing history, when the influence of Italian printing conventions was still great. Over time, presentation of sonnets on the page varied. Sonnets were sometimes numbered and printed one to a page, as in today's editions of sonnet sequences, and sometimes printed in close succession. Spenser's Visions of the worldsVanitie of du Bellay, for instance, are numbered, and presented two to a page. (77) Shakespeare's sonnets are numbered and printed in close succession using all the available space, and averaging roughly two and a half sonnets per page. (78) Sonnets in Drayton's Idea are numbered, but typeset three to a page, with numbers centred, and barely two spaces allowed between sonnets. The same format is used for Fulke Greville's Treatise on Human knowledge (1633), an expostulatory poem consisting of many stanzas, but clearly an integral work. (79) A similar confusion when it comes to numbering constitutive parts of longer integral works applies to acknowledged narratives: Drayton's Baron's Warres, for instance, contains numbered stanzas, another clear indication that numbering, in itself, was not an indication that poems within sonnet sequences should be considered independent works, nor, in itself, an indication of either 'lyricism' or 'narrativity'.
Far more important seems to be the idea of integrity. In the truth-telling frame to Delia, Daniel laments the fact that his sonnets were pirated and published 'unconnected', and that the same thing had happened to Sir Philip Sidney (no longer living). (80) It would appear that the publication of one's sonnets 'unconnected' was one of the worst things that could happen to a sonneteer. This clearly indicates that there was a preference for the sonnets to be 'connected': we can only surmise precisely what Daniel meant by this, but I propose that he meant 'in the proper order, and with internal, formal, and thematic mechanisms connecting poems intact', presented in a way that would enable the sequence to be read and understood from beginning to end, as a story. If sonnet sequences were, indeed, only compendia of individual poems, it would not be important whether they were published 'unconnected' or not.
Despite a burgeoning interest in the biographies of sonnet sequence writers, particularly Shakespeare, critical discourse acknowledges the fictionality of sonnet sequence speakers and no longer equates them with the historical persons of their writers. This interest though has not yet reached the point where 'speakers'--a term specifically designed to acknowledge fictionality--is turned into 'narrators'. Some ideological unease still exists about claiming this terminology where poems are concerned, and implicit contradiction riddles critical discussions of this issue. Where is the line at which we begin considering works in the first person--the confessional mode --as fiction? Do we have to believe that veridical frames in sonnet sequences are actually true, even though we accept that the same devices, when used in novels, are fictional? If we accept the fictionality of these veridical frames and arguments, must we not then accept, also, the integrity of sonnet sequences and their fictional intent? If we do, does that not mean that the origins of the novel, or at least first-person narration, must include the sonnet sequence?
The sonnet sequence is a genre that offered early modern writers and printers a way of presenting the truth of an individual experience. As I have shown, early modern writers and printers presented sonnet sequences featuring many of the devices that also characterized their presentation of narrative works, particularly first-person narration. If we accept Watt's view that it is essentially the pursuit of the truth of an individual experience that makes a novel, but refuse to accept that such a pursuit is determined only by economic factors, or limited only to particular authors as Watt suggests, then we must accept that the sonnet sequence is one of the precursors of the novel.
(1) Petronius, The Satyricon and the Fragments, trans. and intro. John Sullivan (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1965); Dante Alighieri, LaVita Nuova, in The Portable Dante, ed. Paolo Milano (London: Penguin, 1977); Geoffrey Chaucer, The Book of the Duchess, trans. E. B. Richmond (London: Hesperus, 2007). The English Poems of Charles of Orleans, eds Robert Steele and Mabel Day, EETS o.s. 215 and 220 (London: Oxford University Press, 1941-46; repr. 1970).
(2) Heather Dubrow, Uncertainties now crown themselves assur'd': The Politics of Plotting Shakespeare's Sonnets', Shakespeare Quarterly, 47 (1996), 291-305; see also Captive Victors: Shakespeare's Narrative Poems and Sonnets (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987), pp. 171-90. See also James Schiffer, 'The Incomplete Narrative of the Sonnets', in A Companion to Shakespeare's Sonnets, ed. Michael Schoenfeldt (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 47-56 (p. 49); Helen Vendler, 'Formal Pleasure in the Sonnets', in ibid., pp. 27-44.
(3) John Kerrigan, 'Introduction to William Shakespeare', in The Sonnets and A Lover's Complaint, ed. Kerrigan (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986), pp. 14-15. 'The Quarto' is the 1609 edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets, which included 'A Louer's Complaint'.
(4) David Buchbinder, 'True-speaking flattery: Narrativity and Authenticity in the Sonnet Sequence', Poetics, 17 (1988), 37-47; Teodolinda Barolini, 'The Making of a Lyric Sequence: Time and Narrative in Petrarch's Rerum vulgarium Jragmenta', Modern Literary Notes, 104 (1989), 1-38; Marco Santagata, Dal sonetto al canzoniere:ricerche sulla preistoria e la costituzione di un genere (Padua: Liviana, 1989); Roland Greene, Origins and Innovations of the Western Lyric Sequence (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991); Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence: 500Years of Western Cultural Life (New York: Perennial/ Harpers Collins, 2000); Wilhelm Poeters, '"Fragmenta o liber?" Note sulla struttura del Canzoniere di Petrarca', Letteratura Italiana Antica, 8 (2007), 279-98; Carin McLain, 'Screening the Past: Shifting Desire in the Vita Nuova', Italian Culture, 26 (2008), 1-20.
(5) Frederic Jones, 'Petrarch, Philippe de Vitry and a Possible Identification of the Mother of Petrarch's Children', Italianistica, 18 (1989), 81-107; Roderick Eagle, The Rival Poet and the Dark Lady: The Secrets of Shakespeare's Sonnets (London: Mitre, 1965); Katrina Bachinger, A Gender Study of Sir Philip Sidney's Life and Texts (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 1994); Jean R. Brink, Michael Drayton Revisited (Boston: Hall Publishing, 1990).
(6) Anne Lake Prescott, 'Licia's Temple: Giles Fletcher the Elder and Number Symbolism', Renaissance and Reformation, 14 (1978), 170-81; Thomas P. Roche, Jr, Petrarch and the English Sonnet Sequences (NewYork: AMS, 1989).
(7) For a discussion of characterization mechanisms embedded in sonnet sequences, see Danijela Kambaskovic-Sawers, Constructing Sonnet Sequences in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance: A Study of Six Poets (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2010).
(8) Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews, 2nd edn (London, 1742); M. M. Bakhtin, 'Epic and the Novel: Toward a Methodology for the Study of the Novel', in The Dialogic Imagination, ed. Michael Holquist (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981), pp. 3-27; John J. Richetti, Popular Fiction Before Richardson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), p. 121; Terry Eagleton, The Rape of Clarissa: Writing, Sexuality and Class Struggle in Samuel Richardson (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979), p. 122; David Carr, Time, Narrative, and History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), p. 2; Paul Veyne, Did the Greeks Believe in their Myths? An Essay on the Constitutive Imagination, trans. Paula Wissing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), p. 113; J. Paul Hunter, Before Novels (New York: Norton, 1990), p. 226; J. A. Downie, 'The Making of the English Novel', Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 9 (1997), 249-66 (p. 249); Everett Zimmerman, 'Personal Identity, Narrative, and History: The Female Quixote and Redgauntlet', Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 12 (2000), Special Issue: 'Reconsidering the Rise of The Novel', 369-90; Simon Haines, Poetry and Philosophy from Homer to Rousseau: Romantic Souls, Realist Lives (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005); Catherine Gallagher, 'The Rise of Fictionality', in Novel, History, Geography and Culture, ed. Franco Moretti, 2 vols (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006), I, 337-63.
(9) Lucius Apuleius, The xi. Bookes of the Golden Asse, trans. William Adlington (London: Henry Wykes, 1566).
(10) C. W. R. D. Moseley, ed. and intro., The Travels of Sir John Mandeville (London: Penguin, 1983).
(11) Thomas More, Vtopia (Louvain: Arte Theodorici Martini, 1516).
(12) Marguerite de Navarre, The Heptameron, trans. and intro. Paul A. Chilton (London: Penguin, 1984).
(13) Giles Fletcher, Of the Russe Commonwealth, or Maner [sic] of Gouernement by the Russe Emperour, in The EnglishWorks of Giles Fletcher the Elder, ed. Lloyd E. Berry (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1964).
(14) Fletcher, 'To the Queenes most excellent Maiestie' (dedicatory letter to the Queen in The Russe Commonwealth), in English Works, ed. Berry, p. 169.
(15) William Biddulph, Travels into Africa, Asia and to the Blacke Sea (London, 1609; facs. Amsterdam: Da Capo Press, 1968), esp. sig. A.
(16) Joseph Hall, The Discouery of a NewWorld, or A Description of the South Indies Hitherto Unknowne (London, 1609; facs. Amsterdam: Da Capo Press, 1969).
(17) Daniel Defoe, The life and strange surprizing adventures of Robinson Crusoe, pirated edn (Dublin, 1719); Jonathan Swift, Travels into several remote nations of the world ... in four parts by Lemuel Gulliver (London, 1726).
(18) Anne Locke, Sermons of John Caluin ... A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner (London: John Day, 1560), fol. 97.
(19) Christopher Warley, '"An English box": Calvinism and Class in Anne Lok's A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner', Spenser Studies, 15 (2001), 205-41; C. Carsley, 'Biblical Versification and French Religious Paraphrase in Anne Lock's "A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner"', American Notes and Queries, 24 (2011), 42-50; R. Ma, 'Counterpoints of Penitence: Reading Anne Lock's "A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner" through a Late-Medieval Middle English Psalm Paraphrase', American Notes and Queries, 24 (2011), 33-41.
(20) I use the male pronoun as Anne Locke, probably in a bid to lend legitimacy to her work, studiously imitates the style and tone associated with the writing of male authors in the period in addition to keeping the work anonymous.
(21) William Percy, Sonnets to the fairest Coelia (London: Adam Islip, 1594).
(22) In his Defence of Poesy, as well as in Sonnet 8 of his Astrophil and Stella (1581, published 1591), Sir Philip Sidney describes his sonnets as 'ink-wasting toyes': Sidney, ' The Defence ofPoesy' and Selected Renaissance Literary Criticism, ed. Gavin Alexander (London: Penguin, 2004). Edmund Spenser reveals in Sonnet 33 of his Amoretti (1595) that sonnet writing is a break from the real work of epic writing: Spenser, The Shorter Poems, ed. Richard A. McCabe (London: Penguin, 1999).
(23) William A. Ringler, Jr, 'Beware the Cat and the Beginnings of English Fiction, NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, 12.2 (1979), 113-26.
(24) Robert Greene, Perimedes the Blacke-Smith (London, 1588), p. 69.
(25) Delarivier Manley, Secret memoirs and manners of several persons of quality, of both sexes. From the New Atalantis, an island in the Mediteranean (London, 1709), p. i.
(26) Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (London: Chatto and Windus, 1957).
(27) Diane S. Wood, Helisenne de Crenne: At the Crossroads of Renaissance Humanism and Feminism (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2000), p. 15.
(28) Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Preface, unpaginated.
(29) Swift, Travels ... Gulliver, sig. A3.
(30) Aphra Behn, Oroonoko: The History of the Royal Slave, ed. Joanna Lipking (NewYork: Norton, 1997). p. 8.
(31) Samuel Richardson, Pamela or, Virtue Rewarded, Vol I (London, 1741), p. 9.
(32) Samuel Richardson, Clarissa (London, 1748), pp. v-vi.
(33) Daniel, Delia (London, 1592), unpaginated.
(34) Robert Tofte, Laura (London, 1597), sigs A3r, A4v.
(35) Tofte, Laura, penultimate page before errata (unpaginated).
(36) Moseley, ed., Travels of Sir John Mandeville, pp. 43-44.
(37) Moseley, 'Introduction', to Moseley, ed., Travels of Sir John Mandeville, pp. 2-3.
(38) Edward W Said, The Word, the Text and the Critic (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), p. 44.
(39) Giles Fletcher, Licia (Cambridge, 1593), 'Epistle to the Reader' (unpaginated).
(40) Bunyan, The pilgrim's progress from this world to that which is to come, 2nd edn (London: Ponder, 1678), fol. A2v; Conclusion (unpaginated).
(41) Danijela Kambaskovic-Sawers, '"Bugbears in Apollo's Cell": Metamorphoses of Character in Drayton's Idea and Daniel's Delia, Parergon, 25.1 (2008), 123-48.
(42) Idea (1599), 31 in Michael Drayton, Minor Poems, ed. Cyril Brett (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1907). Despite its age, this edition is the most complete available edition of Idea. The Works of Michael Drayton, ed. J. William Hebel (Oxford: Blackwell, 1961) is the standard edition. Poems of Michael Drayton, ed. Buxton (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Library, 1967), a selection of thirty-three sonnets from five sequences authorized by Drayton during his lifetime (all provided without reference to the year of their publication), is useful in that it provides some sonnets omitted by Brett's and Hebel's editions.
(43) William Shakespeare, The Sonnets, ed. Katherine Duncan-Jones (London: Arden, 2003), sonnet 76.
(44) E. C., Emaricdulfe (London: Matthew Law, 1595; facs. London, 1881), fol. A3. Providing the initials of the author's name also serves to hide the identity of both the author and his lady--and this has been done so well that the author of this particular sonnet sequence remains unknown.
(45) Defoe, The fortunes and misfortunes of the famous Moll Flanders (London, 1722), Introduction, unpaginated.
(46) Watson, THE EKATOMTTA[??]IA or Passionate Centurie of Loue (London, 1582), unpaginated.
(47) The work contains dedicatory sonnets by John Lyly, George Bucke, Thomas Acheley, 'C. Downhalus' (possibly Gregory Downhall whose alias was Downhalus, a scholar named in the 1571 charter of Jesus College, Oxford), Matthew Roydon, and George Peele.
(48) Watson, Passionate Centurie of Loue, Introductions to Sonnets I and C, unpaginated.
(49) Marguerite de Navarre, The queen of Nauarres tales Containing, verie pleasant discourses of fortunate louers (London, 1597), sig. B2; Marguerite de Navarre, Heptameron.
(50) Dante, La Diuina comedia, ed. Lodovico Dolce (Vinegia, 1555).
(51) Giovanni Boccaccio, Lamorosa Fiametta Di Novo Corretta Et ristampata con le postille in margine, et con la tavola nelfine delle cose notabili (Vinegia, 1557); listed incorrectly in the catalogue of Biblioteca Nazionale di Roma as 1562.
(52) Giovanni Boccaccio, Amorosa visione (1531). In this edition, acrostic initials have the function of an argomento. This would indicate the presence of authorial intent in the creation of an argument as early as the fourteenth century, when the work was originally written.
(53) Dolce, Le prime imprese del conte Orlando (Vinegia, 1572).
(54) Tasso, Gierusalemme liberata poema heroica (Mantoua, 1584).
(55) Lalli, L'Eneide trauestita (Verezia, 1651).
(56) Stanzas of eight lines rhymed abababcc.
(57) Boccaccio, Fiammetta (1557), Libro Quarto, fol. 125.
(58) Gawyn Douglas, The Palice of Honour, ed. J. G. Kinnear (Edinburgh, 1579; facs. Edinburgh, 1827).
(59) Hall, Discouery of a NewWorld, p. 7.
(60) Swift, Travels ... Gulliver, Parts III and IV
(61) Robert Greene, Never too late, or a Powder of Experience (London, 1590).
(62) Robert Greene, Francesco's Fortunes, or, The Second Part of Greene's Neuer too late (London, 1590).
(63) Richardson, Pamela, p. iv.
(64) Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress, sigs A5v, A6.
(65) Patrick Cheney, Marlowe's Counterfeit Profession: Ovid, Spenser, Counter-nationhood (Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1997).
(66) Drayton, Works, ed. Hebel, p. 130.
(67) The Epistles include Oliver Oldwanton s pseudonymus Image of Idleness (A little treatyse called the Image of Idlenesse, conteynynge certeyn matters moved between Walter Wedlock and Bawdin Bachelor) (c. 1555), a story told in a series of letters; George Gascoigne's A Hundred Sundry Flowres (1575), ed. and intro. C. T. Prouty (Columbia: University of Missouri, 1942); and Greene's Neuer too late (1590), works combining prose and verse, and containing epistolary components, are earlier. Gascoigne uses a combination of the first and the third person, as does Spenser in his Ruines of Time. See Edmund Spenser, Complaints, containing Sundrie Small poems of the Worlds Vanitie (London: William Ponsonbie, 1591; facs. Amsterdam: Da Capo Press, 1970); Spenser, Complaints, ed. W. L. Renwick (London: Scholartis, 1928).
(68) Michael Drayton, Englands Heroicall Epistles. Nevvly enlarged. VVith Idea (London, 1599); Michael Drayton, Poems (London, 1619).
(69) Drayton, Epistles, fol. 2 (last line emphasis mine). The introductory sonnet also appears in the 1619 edition.
(70) Lily Campbell, ed., A Mirror for Magistrates (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1938).
(71) Minor Poems, ed. Brett, the most complete available edition of Idea, does not print Heroicall Epistles before Idea; neither does Poems, ed. Buxton. Works, ed. Hebel is the only edition that contains both Heroicall Epistles and poems from Idea.
(72) Geoffrey Chaucer, author of Canterbury Tales, a fourteenth-century milestone of narrative writing in English, is also credited with being the first translator of a sonnet by Petrarch into English: Patricia Thomson, 'The "Canticus Troili": Chaucer and Petrarch', Comparative Literature, 11 (1959), 313-28 (p. 313). The Canterbury Tales ends with a recantation that disclaims the work as sinful, which replicates the way Petrarch ends his sequence: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, in The Riverside Chaucer, ed. Larry D. Benson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 328. See also Jon Cook, 'Carnival and the Canterbury Tales: "Only equals may laugh" (Herzen)', in Medieval Literature, Criticism, Ideology and History, ed. David Aers (Liverpool: Harvester, 1986), pp. 169-91.
(73) Ludovico Ariosto (Cinque canti di vn nuouo libro di m. Ludouico Ariosto, i quali seguono la materia del [Orlando] Furioso (Venice: Aldo Manuzio, 1545) and Tasso (Gierusalemme liberate), as well as Spaniard Miguel de Cervantes (El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha (1604)), wrote longer fictions that are universally acknowledged as being fundamentally important for the history of the novel but they also read and wrote sonnets.
(74) Ariosto, Orlando Furioso; Boiardo, Orlando inamorato; Giovanni Battista Lalli, Tito-Vespasiano ouero Gerusalemme disolata poema eroico (Venice: Giacomo Sarzina, 1629); Drayton, Poems.
(75) Francesco Petrarca, Rerum vulgariumfragmenta, codiceVat. lat. 3195, eds Gino Belloni, Furio Brugnolo, H. Wayne Storey, and Stefano Zamponi (Rome: Antenore, 2004); Armando Petrucci, La scrittura di Francesco Petrarca (Citta del Vaticano: Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 1967).
(76) Francesco Petrarca, Le CoseVolgari, ed. Pietro Bembo (Vinegia: Aldo Romano, 1501).
(77) Spenser, Complaints, unpaginated.
(78) William Shakespeare, Shake-speares sonnets. Neuer before imprinted (London, 1609).
(79) Fulke Greville, Certaine Learned and ElegantWorkes (London, 1633).
(80) Daniel, Delia, 'Dedicatory letter to the Right Honourable the Ladie Mary, Countesse of Pembroke', unpaginated.
School of English and Cultural Studies
The University of Western Australia
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