The Model of Poesy is one of the most exciting literary discoveries of recent years. A manuscript treatise on poetics written by William Scott in 1599, at the end of the most revolutionary decade in English literary history, it includes rich discussions of the works of Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare and their contemporaries. Scott's work presents a powerful and coherent theoretical account of all aspects of poetics, from the nature of representation to the rules of versification, with a commitment to relating theory to contemporary practice. For Scott, any theory of literature must make sense not of the classics but of what English writers are doing now: Scott is at the same time the most scholarly and the most relevant of English Renaissance critics. In this groundbreaking edition, Gavin Alexander presents a text of The Model of Poesy framed by a detailed introduction and an extensive commentary, which together demonstrate the range and value of Scott's thought.
Gavin Alexander is a University Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Christ's College. His publications include Writing after Sidney: The Literary Response to Sir Philip Sidney, 1586-1640 (2006), Sidney's 'The Defence of Poesy' and Selected Renaissance Literary Criticism (2004), a co-edited volume, Renaissance Figures of Speech (2007), and numerous articles and book chapters on literary and musicological topics. He teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate level across a wide range of topics, from ancient to modern literature, with a particular emphasis on Renaissance literature, the history and theory of literary criticism, and textual studies. His online Renaissance palaeography course 'English Handwriting' is widely used around the world. In 2008 he was awarded a Pilkington Teaching Prize for excellence in teaching at the University of Cambridge.
Preface; Introduction: William Scott (c.1571-c.1617); The Model in context; Form and method; Textual introduction; The Model of Poesy; Commentary; Appendices: Appendix 1. The dedication to Scott's Du Bartas; Appendix 2. Scott's letter to Cecil; Appendix 3. Scott's will.