This study presents a history of the literary culture of early-modern Scotland (1560-1625), based on extensive study of the literary manuscript. It argues for the importance of three key places of production of such manuscripts: the royal court, burghs and towns, and regional houses (stately homes, but also minor lairdly and non-aristocratic households). This attention to place facilitates a discussion of, respectively, courtly, urban or civic, and regional literary
cultures. Sebastiaan Verweij's methodology stems from bibliographical scholarship and the study of the 'History of the Book', and more specifically, from a school of manuscript research that has invigorated early-modern English literary criticism over the last few decades. The Literary Culture of
Early Modern Scotland will also intersect with a programme of reassessment of early-modern Scottish culture that is currently underway in Scottish studies. Traditional narratives of literary history have often regarded the Reformation of 1560 as heralding a terminal cultural decline, and the Union of Crowns of 1603, with the departure of king and court, was thought to have brought the briefest of renaissances (in the 1580s and 1590s) to an early end. This book purposefully straddles
the Union, in order to make possible the rediscovery of Scotland's refined and sophisticated renaissance culture.
Sebastiaan Verweij was born in the Netherlands, obtained his PhD from the University of Glasgow, and is currently a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Bristol. He previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge (2008-9), and the University of Oxford (2010-14). He has published several journal articles and book chapters on the literary and book history of Scotland. He is also the author, with Peter McCullough, of the (forthcoming) Textual Companion, volume 16 in The Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne (OUP).
Introduction: Scottish Literary Texts and the Book History of Early Modern Britain ; 1. Courtly Literary Culture and Manuscripts of the Court ; 2. 'All the kings poesis': The Manuscripts of James VI ; 3. The Manuscripts of William Fowler ; 4. Manuscript Production, Transmission, and Urban Cultural Identities ; 5. Urban Developments: EUL MS Laing III.447 ; 6. The Marks of Neighbourhood: Regional Manuscript Production and Transmission ; 7. The Verse Miscellanies of James Murray of Tibbermuir and Margaret Robertson of Lude ; Conclusion: 'Off begynnnyng and ending'