ISBN : 9780198827818
Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas was the most popular and widely-imitated poet in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England and Scotland. C. S. Lewis felt that a reconsideration of his works' British reception was 'long overdue' back in the 1950s, and this study finally provides the first comprehensive account of how English-speaking poets read, translated, imitated, and eventually discarded Du Bartas' model for Protestant poetry. The first part shows that Du Bartas' friendship with James VI and I was a key factor in his popularity. Through James's intervention, Du Bartas' poetry symbolized a transnational Protestant literary culture in Huguenot France and Britain, and meant that Scottish literary tastes had a significant impact in England. Later chapters assess how Sidney, Spenser, Milton and many other poets justified writing poetic fictions in reaction to Du Bartas' austere emphasis on scriptural truth. Crucially, Du Bartas' example is essential for understanding the everyday creative activities of many men and women who wrote poetry away from centres of power.
Du Bartas' Legacy in England and Scotland responds to recent developments in transnational and translation studies, the history of reading, women's writing, religious literature, and manuscript and print studies. It argues that Du Bartas' legacy deserves greater prominence because it offers a more accurate, diverse, and representative view of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English, Scottish, and French literature and religious culture.
1 Introduction: The World as a Book
Part I: A Jacobean Poet
2 History of a Friendship: James VI and Du Bartas
3 Solidarity and Compliance: Sixteenth-Century Translations
4 Curating the Protestant Imagination
5 Devine Weekes and its Readers
Part II: Scriptural Poetry and the Self
6 Little Histories: Patterns for Divine Poetry I
7 Meditations: Patterns for Divine Poetry II
8 Writing for the Inner Eye
Appendix: Synopsis of the Semaines