Advertisement

Literary Politics: The Publication of Love’s Martyr

  • James P. Bednarz
Chapter
  • 68 Downloads
Part of the Palgrave Shakespeare Studies book series (PASHST)

Abstract

What political pressures as well as professional and literary opportunities inspired Shakespeare to compose ‘The Phoenix and Turtle’ for publication in the Poetical Essays of Love’s Martyr? Although this question cannot be answered with certainty, four interdependent explanations suggest why on this occasion he made an exception to his rule of avoiding such print projects after 1594. Yet the plural motives that impelled him to participate in this joint venture are further complicated by being intertwined with those of his collaborators. And at the centre of this network of political and literary associations stood Ben Jonson, whose connections with Salusbury and Shakespeare provide the strongest evidence of how ‘The Phoenix and Turtle’ became part of this prestigious collection.

Keywords

Title Page Truth Eterniz Privy Council Literary Politics Mutual Love 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Robert Speaight, Shakespeare: The Man and His Achievement (New York: Cooper Square Press, 2000), 220, incorrectly states that the first edition ‘was denounced as “seditious”‘ and ‘clandestinely printed and sold’. The volume’s lack of registration is neither suspicious nor irregular. Love’s Martyr was among the third of all books published during the period that were not registered.Google Scholar
  2. See Peter Blayney, ‘The Publication of Playbooks’, in A New History of Early English Drama, ed. John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), 400. Blayney, 403, warns that ‘inane conspiracy theories’ arise from a misunderstanding of ‘questions of entrance’.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    Peter Ackroyd, Shakespeare: The Biography (London: Chatto & Windus, 2006), 377.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    For dramatic sparring between Jonson and Shakespeare from 1599 to 1601, see James P. Bednarz, Shakespeare and the Poets’ War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Colin Burrow (ed.), William Shakespeare: Complete Sonnets and Poems (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 90.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Katherine Duncan-Jones and H. R. Woudhuysen (ed.), Shakespeare’s Poems (London: Thomson Learning, 2007), 94.Google Scholar
  7. Duncan-Jones, Ungentle Shakespeare, Scenes from His Life (London: Thomson Learning, 2001), 138, had previously described Chester as Salusbury’s ‘side-kick (later chaplain)’.Google Scholar
  8. See instead Charles R. Forker, ‘Robert Chester (fl. C. 1586–1604)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    See Boris Borukhov, ‘Was the Author of Love’s Martyr Chester of Royston?’ Notes and Queries 56 (2009): 77–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 8.
    Carleton Brown (ed.), Poems of Sir John Salusbury and Robert Chester (London: Kegan Paul, Trencher, Trübner 1914), xlvii–liv. Although Borukhov maintains that we do not know who Chester really is, he nonetheless reveals our most complete portrait (aside from Charles Forker’s article in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography) of Chester in refuting the Royston thesis.Google Scholar
  11. 9.
    See J. George, ‘Robert Chester’, The National Library of Wales Journal 6 (1950): 392,Google Scholar
  12. and John Buxton, ‘Two Dead Birds: A Note on The Phoenix and Turtle’, English Renaissance Studies: Presented to Dame Helen Gardner in Honour of Her Seventieth Birthday (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 46. Chester had earlier stood in for Salusbury in a similar capacity on 18 January of that year.Google Scholar
  13. 10.
    Sally Harper, Music in Welsh Culture Before 1650: A Study of the Principal Sources (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), 299 and 298.Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    See G. Blakemore Evans, The Poems of Robert Parry (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005), 10–22. (Evans proves Parry is the sole author of the ‘patron’ poems in Sinetes Passions that Brown had attributed to Salusbury.)Google Scholar
  15. 14.
    C. H. Herford and Percy Simpson (ed.), Ben Jonson, 11 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925–52), 11: 41, following Brown, Poems by Sir John Salusbury, liv. With few exceptions, Chester’s poem has been excoriated in contemporary criticism. F. T. Prince in Poems (London: Methuen, 1960), xl, calls it ‘rubbish’, that is not only ‘grotesquely incompetent and tedious’ but ‘chaotic’, and Duncan-Jones and Woudhuysen in Shakespeare’s Poems, 94, pronounce it ‘pedestrian’, ‘tedious’ and ‘aesthetically discouraging’.Google Scholar
  16. 15.
    Terence G. Schoone-Jongen, Shakespeare’s Companies: William Shakespeare’s Early Career and the Acting Companies, 1577–1594 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), 103–17, acknowledges that even though the arguments for his connection with Lord Strange’s Men are plausible, ‘none of these premises are unequivocal evidence for Shakespeare’s presence in the company, and, as such, alternative explanations for his whereabouts cannot be ruled out’ (117).Google Scholar
  17. See also Sally-Beth MacLean, ‘A Family Tradition: Dramatic Patronage by the Earls of Derby’, in Region, Religion, and Patronage, ed. Richard Dutton, Alison Findlay and Richard Wilson (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003), 205–26.Google Scholar
  18. E. A. J. Honigmann, Shakespeare: ‘The Lost Years’ (Totowa: Barnes & Noble Books, 1985), 62, admits that Shakespeare ‘was not named as a member of Strange’s Men in their license to travel of 6 May 1593’.Google Scholar
  19. Lawrence Manley, ‘From Strange’s Men to Pembroke’s Men: 2 Henry VI and the First Part of the Contention’, Shakespeare Quarterly 34 (2003): 253–87, shows how Shakespeare elevates the Stanleys’ role in history.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 19.
    Richard Dutton, William Shakespeare: A Literary Life (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1989), 7.Google Scholar
  21. For a strong refutation, see R. Bearman, ‘“John Shakespeare’s Spiritual Testament”: A Reappraisal’, Shakespeare Survey 56 (2003): 184–203, and “Was William Shakespeare William Shakeshafte?” Revisited’, Shakespeare Quarterly 53 (2002): 83–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 20.
    See John Roe (ed.), The New Cambridge Shakespeare: The Poems (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 48;Google Scholar
  23. and MacDonald P.Jackson, ‘Vocabulary and Chronology: The Case of Shakespeare’s Sonnets’, Review of English Studies 52 (2001): 73.Google Scholar
  24. 22.
    Thomas P. Harrison, ‘Love’s Martyr by Robert Chester: A New Interpretation’, University of Texas Studies in English 30 (1951): 66–85;Google Scholar
  25. Muriel Bradbrook, Shakespeare in His Context: The Constellated Globe (Totowa: Barnes and Noble, 1989), 78.Google Scholar
  26. 24.
    Marie Axton, ‘Miraculous Succession: The Phoenix and Turtle (1601)’, in The Queen’s Two Bodies: Drama and the Elizabethan Succession (London: Royal Historical Society, 1977), 116–30.Google Scholar
  27. 26.
    Hume, ‘Love’s Martyr’, “The Phoenix and Turtle”, and the Aftermath of the Essex Rebellion’, Review of English Studies 40 (1989): 55. For Elizabeth’s transformation into the dead phoenix in the Jacobean period,Google Scholar
  28. see John Watkins, Representing Elizabeth in Stuart England (Cambridge: Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2003); and Resurrecting Elizabeth I in Seventeenth-Century England, ed. Elizabeth H. Hageman and Katherine Conway (Cranbury: Associated University Presses, 2007), especially Alan Young, ‘The Phoenix Reborn: An Appropriation of an Elizabethan Symbol’, 68–81, and Georgianna Ziegler, ‘A Second Phoenix: The Rebirth of Elizabeth I as Elizabeth Stuart’, 111–31.Google Scholar
  29. 27.
    For the Elizabethan use of phoenix iconography, see Elkin Wilson, England’s Eliza (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1939), 21–2;Google Scholar
  30. and Roy Strong, Gloriana: The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I (London: Thames and Hudson, 1987), 81–3.Google Scholar
  31. For the larger dynastic context, see Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), especially 385–94.Google Scholar
  32. 28.
    Although included in the First Folio, scholars have long suspected it to be a collaboration. See Brian Vickers, ‘Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen with John Fletcher’ in Shakespeare, Co-Author (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 333–402.Google Scholar
  33. 30.
    Their main advocates are: (a) Alexander Grosart, Love’s Martyr, and William H. Matchett, The Phoenix and the Turtle; (b) Carleton Brown, Poems by Sir John Salusbury; E. A. J. Honigmann, Shakespeare, ‘The Lost Years’; (c) Harrison, ‘Love’s Martyr’, 66–85; John Buxton, ‘Two Dead Birds’, 44–55; Anthea Hume, ‘Love’s Martyr’, 48–71; and Katherine Duncan-Jones and H. R. Woudhuysen, Shakespeare’s Poems (2007); (d) Gwyn Williams, ‘Shakespeare’s Phoenix’, National Library of Wales Journal 22 (1982): 277–81; (e) Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies;(f) Roy T. Ericksen, ‘“Un certo amoroso matire”: Shakespeare’s “The Phoenix and the Turtle” and Giordano Bruno’s De gli eroici furori’, Spenser Studies 2 (1981): 193–215; (g) Bernard H. Newdigate, ‘The Phoenix and Turtle: Was Lady Bedford the Phoenix?’ TLS, 24 October 1936: 862; ed., Jonson, Poems (1936) and The Phoenix and Turtle (1937); and (h) Alfred von Mauntz, Jarbuch 28 (1893); J. Mort, Shakespeare Self-Revealed in His Sonnets and Phoenix and Turtle (London: Sherratt & Hughes, 1904);Google Scholar
  34. Walter Thomson, Sonnets of William Shakespeare and Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton (Liverpool: B. Blackwell and H. Young & Sons, 1938);Google Scholar
  35. G. Wilson Knight, The Mutual Flame: On Shakespeare’s Sonnets and The Phoenix and Turtle (1955); Kenneth Muir and Sean O’Loughlin in The Voyage to Illyria: A New Study of Shakespeare (London: Methuen, 1937);Google Scholar
  36. (i) John F. Forbis, The Shakespearean Enigma and an Elizabethan Mania (New York: American Library Service, 1924), 200;Google Scholar
  37. (i) David Honneyman, Shakespeare’s Sonnets and the Court of Navarre (Lewiston: The Edwin Meilen Press, 1997);Google Scholar
  38. (k) Ilya Gililov, The Shakespeare Game: The Mystery of the Great Phoenix (New York: Algora, 2003);Google Scholar
  39. (1) Clare Asquith, ‘A Phoenix for Palm Sunday: Was Shakespeare’s Poem a Requiem for Catholic Martyrs?’ (2001);Google Scholar
  40. (m) Clara Longworth de Chambrun, Shakespeare: A Portrait Restored (London: Hollis & Carter, 1957), 237–9;Google Scholar
  41. John Finnis and Patrick Martin, ‘Another Turn for the Turtle: Shakespeare’s Intercession for Love’s Martyr’ (2003). For a concise debunking of Gililov’s outrageous historical speculation, see Boris Borukov, ‘“The Phoenix and Turtle” Was Published in 1601’, Notes and Queries 53 (2006): 71–2.Google Scholar
  42. 33.
    Heinrich Straumann, ‘“The Phoenix and the Turtle” in its Dramatic Context’, English Studies 58 (1977): 496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 34.
    John Kerrigan, ‘Shakespeare’s Poems’, The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare, ed. Margreta de Grazia and Stanley Wells (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 76.Google Scholar
  44. 35.
    J. C. Maxwell, The Cambridge Shakespeare: The Poems (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), xxviii.Google Scholar
  45. 38.
    Duncan-Jones, Ungentle Shakespeare, 142; and Tom MacFaul, Paternity and Poetry in the English Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 39.
    See Richard Levin, ‘The Figures of Fluellen’, New Readings vs. Old Plays: Recent Trends in the Reinterpretation of English Renaissance Drama (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 209–29.Google Scholar
  47. 41.
    For the network of associations linking Salusbury, Marston, Shakespeare and Jonson to the Middle Temple, see Duncan-Jones, Ungentle Shakespeare, 137–41. For William Stanley’s connection to the Children of Paul’s and his own troupe the Earl of Derby’s Men, see Andrew Gurr, The Shakespearian Playing Companies (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003), 339–40.Google Scholar
  48. 42.
    See Charles Cathcart, Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement, and Jonson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), 20.Google Scholar
  49. 43.
    W. Reavley Gair (ed.), Antonio’s Revenge (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999), 11. It was printed as The Honorable Lord and Lady Huntingdon’s Entertainment of their Right Noble Mother, Alice Spenser, Countess Dowager of Derby, the Last Night of Her Honor’s Arrival at the House of Ashby. Google Scholar
  50. 48.
    Mark Bland, ‘“As far from all Revolt”: Sir John Salusbury, Christ Church MS 184 and Ben Jonson’s First Ode’, English Manuscript Studies 8 (2000): 44.Google Scholar
  51. 53.
    See David Riggs, Ben Jonson: A Life (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), 67–8;Google Scholar
  52. Leeds Barroll, Anna of Denmark, Queen of England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), 65–7;Google Scholar
  53. and Joseph Loewenstein, Ben Jonson and Possessive Authorship (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 162–7. Jonson in Discoveries mentions Rutland’s scorn for him as a ‘poet’.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    G. P. V. Akrigg, Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968), 82–3.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    See Robert C. Evans, Ben Jonson and the Poetics of Patronage (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1989), 147,Google Scholar
  56. and Tom Cain (ed.), Poetaster (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996), 283–4.Google Scholar
  57. Katherine Duncan-Jones, Shakespeare: Upstart Crow to Sweet Swan (London: Methuen Drama, 2011), 247, guesses, with no convincing evidence, that Shakespeare ‘purged’ Jonson by acting the role of Sir Vaughan in Satiromastix. But Evans and Cain illustrate how the Welsh knight Sir Vaughan partially evokes Salusbury as a patron (not a poet or player) who seeks revenge after discovering that Horace/Jonson has been hypocritically mocking him.Google Scholar
  58. 56.
    The Actaeon-Niobe allegory was first successfully decoded by Alexander Corbin Judson in Cynthia’s Revels (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1912), xxv-xxviii. Its language, Judson states, indicates that the earl’s ‘execution had already taken place’. See also Evans, Ben Jonson and the Poetics of Patronage, 38–48. Recent criticism, intent on aligning Jonson with Essex’s cause, downplays the importance of the Actaeon inset. Bland, ‘“As far from all Revolt”‘, 56, dismisses it as ‘ironical’. Louis Montorse, The Purpose of Playing: Shakespeare and the Cultural Politics of Elizabethan Theatre (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 165, similarly exaggerates what he calls the play’s ‘recurrent tendency to subvert itself in elaborating ‘Queen Elizabeth’s personal mythology’.Google Scholar
  59. 60.
    See Retha M. Warnicke, Mary, Queen of Scots (New York: Routledge, 2006), 71.Google Scholar
  60. 61.
    Jayne Elizabeth Lewis, ‘“All Mankind and Her Scots”, Mary Stuart and Modern Britain’, Literature and the Nation, ed. Brook Thomas (Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1998), 72.Google Scholar
  61. 62.
    John Guy, Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart (New York: Mariner Books, 2005), 180, and My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots (Hammersmith: Fourth Estate, 2004), 7.Google Scholar
  62. 64.
    Victoria Moul, Jonson, Horace, and the Classical Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 24–7, cogently explores this poem’s remarkable improvisation on Horace’s Odes, 1.12, and its model Pindar’s Olympian 2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 65.
    Alexander Leggatt, Ben Jonson: His Vision and His Art (London: Methuen, 1981), 134.Google Scholar
  64. 66.
    See Robert C. Evans, Habits of Mind: Evidence andEffects of Ben Jonson’s Reading (Cranbury: Associated University Presses, 1995), 57–88, and Jonson, Lipsius, and the Politics of Renaissance Stoicism (Durango: Longwood Academic), 1992.Google Scholar
  65. 67.
    See Katherine Maus, Jonson and the Roman Frame of Mind (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984).Google Scholar
  66. 68.
    Stephen Orgel (ed.), Selected Masques (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970), 345.Google Scholar
  67. 71.
    H. R. Woudhuysen (ed.), Love’s Labour’s Lost (London: Thomson Learning, 1998), 12–13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James P. Bednarz 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • James P. Bednarz
    • 1
  1. 1.Long Island UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations