John Skelton: The Critical Heritage

By Anthony S. G.Edwards | Go to book overview
Save to active project




From Henry Hallam’s ‘Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries’ (1837), I, p. 313.

Hallam (1777-1859) was chiefly notable as an historian. His footnotes have been deleted from this selection.

The strange writer, whom we have just mentioned, seems to fall well enough within this decad; though his poetical life was long, if it be true that he received the laureate crown at Oxford in 1483, and was also the author of a libel on Sir Thomas More, ascribed to him by Ellis, which alluding to the Nun of Kent, could hardly be written before 1533. ( 1) But though this piece is somewhat in Skelton’s manner, we find it said that he died in 1529, and it is probably the work of an imitator. Skelton is certainly not a poet, unless some degree of comic humour, and a torrent-like volubility of words in doggrel rhyme, can make one; but this uncommon fertility, in a language so little copious as ours was at that time, bespeaks a mind of some original vigour. Few English writers come nearer in this respect to Rabelais, whom Skelton preceded. His attempts in serious poetry are utterly contemptible, but the satirical lines on Cardinal Wolsey were probably not ineffective. It is impossible to determine whether they were written before 1520. Though these are better known than any poem of Skelton’s, his dirge on Philip Sparrow is the most comic and imaginative.

See George Ellis, ‘Specimens of the Early English Poets’ (1790), II; the poem there credited to Skelton is not by him.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
John Skelton: The Critical Heritage
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 226

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?