John Denham and Lucy Hutchinson's Commonplace Book
de Groot, Jerome, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900
JOHN DENHAM IN MANUSCRIPT
In 1656, Humphrey Moseley published a translation of 549 lines from the second book of Virgil's Aeneid entitled The Destruction of Troy. (1) Moseley entered the text in the Stationers' Register on 5 February 1656, and bookseller George Thomason's copy is dated 19 May. The title page of the book announces that it was written in 1636. The poem was announced in Mercurius Politicus, which revealed the author to be the Royalist writer John Denham. (2) Denham had returned from exile in March 1653 under the protection of the Earl of Pembroke. A slightly revised version of this poem, as well as another passage of 258 lines from Virgil entitled 'The Passion of Dido for AEneas," was included in Denham's 1668 complete works. Denham had personally corrected Moseley's 1653 edition of his topographical poem Cooper's Hill, so we may assume that he had at least a working relationship with the publisher and that the printing of his Virgil was in part authorized or authenticated. (3)
A manuscript source for both these translations from the Aeneid has long been known. A transcription of a translation of books 2 through 6 (books 2 and 3 incomplete) appears in the commonplace book of Lucy Hutchinson (nee Apsley), currently deposited at the Nottingham Record Office. (4) The approximately 3,500 lines are concluded with "Finis Denham Virgilis Aeneis," written in Hutchinson's hand (p. 135). Some 2,600 lines of this manuscript poetry of Denham's have never been published. (5) This represents a large amount of unknown verse by an important poet and is a substantial addition to Denham's canon. The two printed excerpts are largely congruent with the manuscript, and it is generally taken to be an early version of the eventual copy text. The majority of the transcript is in Hutchinson's hand, yet the transmission of the poem is often cited as the "fruit of the temporary conjunction of her husband, her brother, and Denham at Lincoln's Inn" in the mid-1630s. (6) Hutchinson has been assigned a passive scribe's role, a position that is challenged in this article and in other recent work. Yet Denham was not much circulated in manuscript in the 1630s; it is only during the early 1640s and at the Court in exile that he achieves a presence in poetic miscellanies. (7) If the manuscript is a collaboration of Denham and Hutchinson, then their relationship was not simply one of standard poetic miscellany transmission; it is likely that they knew each other. Furthermore, the manuscript has been generally considered solely as her own document, while this essay argues that in fact it was the result of coterie compilation. (8)
The issues surrounding the physical transmission of the poem into Hutchinson's commonplace book are such that it is difficult to date the poem in the manuscript with certainty. This is largely because it is unclear whether the text in the commonplace book is a product of manuscript publication, coterie interaction, or patronage system. In what follows, I postulate several different contexts for the transmission and composition of the poem. A reconsideration of the transmission of the poem highlights several distinct possibilities and is highly suggestive for study of the 1630s and the 1650s. I first place Denham's text within a 1630s network of manuscript transmission before considering whether it was in fact written during exile after the regicide of Charles I, a position most recently argued by Lawrence Venuti. (9) I argue that the poem cannot be dated with certainty but was probably composed in the 1630s and transmitted to Hutchinson either then or in the early 1650s. The Hutchinson manuscript also presents us with the opportunity to think about Hutchinson's reading practices. I posit several models for the use, compilation, and transmission of the texts in the manuscript and of the book itself. The commonplace book--if indeed it is such an artifact--is intriguing for what it can tell us about the various poetic and intellectual nexus points that Hutchinson was connected to at various key stages in her life. It also demonstrates that for all the physical evidence, we still have little understanding of how or, more importantly, why coterie manuscripts were compiled and used.
It is probably best at this point to provide a list of contents for Hutchinson's commonplace book:
pp. 2-3: letter to unknown lady (hand: Hutchinson, hereafter LH)
pp. 5-135: extracts from Denham's translation of Virgil's Aeneid, books 2 through 6, in Hutchinson's hand, apart from much of book 6 (hand 2)
pp. 139-44: translations of Psalms 1, 2, 51, 90, and 113 by Thomas Carew (LH)
pp. 147-91: extracts from Nicholas Caussin, The Holy Court, trans. T[homas] H[awkins] (Rouen, 1634) transcribed, with extra marginal notes in Latin by Hutchinson (LH). The extracts are: Love, Friendship, Sensual Love, Hatred, Desire, Aversion, Joy, Sorrow, Hope, Despair, and Audacity.
pp. 192-204: pedigree of the Boteler family (hand 3). Reversed and upside down; pagination from end of the manuscript. (10) In end binding: lines on love from Ovid with translations probably by Hutchinson (LH). "[Mathias] Casimire. Epig. lib. unus p. 243 Ep. Xxxiv Love is strong as death Can. 8. 6," epigram no. 34 from Lyricorum Libri IV (Antwerp, 1632) translated by Hutchinson (LH)
p. 208: Horace quotation, "Aut prodess solent, aut delectare Poetae" (LH)
pp. 209-30: translation of Virgil, Aeneid, book 4, ascribed to Sidney Godolphin (LH)
pp. 231-5: masque choruses by Thomas Carew (LH)
pp. 236-7: "To my Lady Morton on New years day 1650" ascribed to "E[dmund].W[aller]" (LH)
pp. 238-9: "To his Mrs Sent out of the north," beginning, "Why dost thou faire persue me still / Who long agoe resignd my will," by unidentified poet (LH)
pp. 239-41: "A Ballad upon the lamentable death of Anne Greene & Gilbert Samson executed att Tyburn the second day of January for hauing beene taken in the act of adulterie to the tune of When I was a buxome lasse," in two parts, beginning "What a pittifull age is this / What cruelty reigns in this towne" (LH)
pp. 242-3: "Sonnet" by Theophile de Viau beginning "Chere Isis tes beautes ont trouble la nature" and the same "Paraphras'd" in English (hand 4)
pp. 244-5: song from Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, "My Masters & friends & good people draw neere / And looke to your purses for that I doe say" (hand 5)
p. 246: blank
pp. 247-9: "The Hue & Cry after Sir John Presbyter" by John Cleveland (hand 4)
pp. 249-50: "The Antiplatonic" by John Cleveland (hand 4)
pp. 251-8: "A Panegyric to my Lord Protector of the present greatness and joynt Interest of his highnesse and this nation by E. Waller Esq. 1655" (LH) (11)
What is fascinating about this document is that it presents us with a Hutchinson very much active in manuscript transmission and, interestingly, utilizing transcription and anthologizing practices very similar to Catholic, university, and courtly coteries of the mid-1630s. The letter that opens the collection is one of condolence for the recent death of a daughter, in which Hutchinson beseeches "yr Lship that you would persever in that godly fortitude, which hath hitherto carried you aboue all the assaults of your euill encounters, that you who haue triumphed so often, may not now be vanquisht by a passion" (p. 2). Hutchinson and her coterie then collect Carew, Jonson, Denham, Godolphin, Cleveland, and Edmund Waller, staples of commonplace collections throughout the 1630s and 1640s particularly associated with students. (12) Also included are a populist ballad and an unidentified work, while the inclusion of French, biblical, and Latin translations again give the collection something of the flavor of a university collection. Peter Beal records that the four choruses by Carew appear as a corporate entity in nine manuscripts during the 1630s, including the coterie Great Tew manuscript and an autograph manuscript by Thomas Killigrew. (13) The choruses were printed in Carew's Poems of 1640. The Great Tew manuscript also includes the section from the Aeneid here ascribed to Godolphin, which was revised and published by Waller in the late 1650s. (14) Carew's psalms only circulated in manuscript, generally in university-related collections (although Psalm 1 was printed in Henry Lawes's Select Psalms of 1655).
There are a number of remarkable texts here. Judging by the page number citation, the Catholic poet Casimir is quoted from the 1632 Latin edition. The inclusion of several long extracts from Nicholas Caussin's Holy Court, the textbook of Stuart courtly preciosite, suggests that Hutchinson was deeply immersed and engaged with contemporary Neoplatonic writings. Certainly her time spent at Richmond during the 1630s brought her into contact with those from the Inns of Court, generally great supporters of Henrietta Maria and adherents to her Neoplatonic concepts. (15) The Caussin material suggests that Hutchinson, who spent time with various courtly ladies in Richmond in "pleasant divertisements" may have been influenced by such writing at this time. (16) The extracts might illustrate that the book is being used as a commonplace book rather than a simple poetic miscellany, insofar as it is a collection of useful and educative texts. As this is a coterie manuscript and therefore has a pseudopublic aspect, Hutchinson is not only copying courtly and Catholic texts but also sharing them as part of a poetic and intellectual community. Certainly this complicates our understanding of her intellectual development.
The texts in the reverse of the volume can be generally related to events post-1641. The Jonson song is probably copied from the 1640 edition of his Works, where it appears as an individual poem, although it also appears in the 1656 miscellany Wit and Drollery. (17) Waller's poem explicitly dates itself, and the hanging of Anne Greene at Tyburn can be dated to around 1650. (She was hanged but revived and was exhibited by her father as a miracle.) (18) Poems on Greene are relatively common in miscellanies, particularly after the 1651 publication of an account of her deliverance. (19) The Waller "Panegyric" is evidently transcribed from the quarto edition published in 1655 by Richard Lowndes.
The inclusion of two poems by Cleveland dating probably from some time after 1646 further complicates the compilation. These poems appear in this order in the generally Royalist collection BL Lansdowne MS 223 (134v-5v). This is the only other instance of "The Hue and Cry" in manuscript that is recorded by Cleveland's editors or that I have found; the poem was composed sometime after June 1646 and published separately in May 1649. "The Antiplatonic" appears in civil-war Royalist anthologies such as those compiled by Peter Calfe, William Elyot, Richard Pattricke, and in Bod. MS Rawlinson Poet. 147, but it also has a further life in 1650s collections such as Folger MS V.a. 124. (20) The poems are also printed subsequently in editions of Cleveland's Poems from 1651 onward. While it is evidently used in collections as a politicized text, 'The Antiplatonic" is also a poem interrogating tropes of platonic love, and as such it counterpoints the sections from Caussin in the Hutchinson commonplace book. "The Hue and Cry" is virulently anti-Scottish and mocks parliamentary rebels, particularly their "Divine right of an Ordinance" (p. 247, line 18). (21) Cleveland is a resolutely Royalist polemical writer, and his inclusion here demonstrates that the compilers of the manuscripts have an entry into the world of Loyalist textual circulation. (22) As discussed below, however, Hutchinson may have copied the Cleveland poems to interrogate them, as is the case with her transcription and answer to Waller's "Panegyric."
The hybrid nature of the content of the manuscript, and the several hands at work, suggest a group of educated contributors. (The hands are in the main mixed secretary/italic.) What is clear from the manuscript is that possibly four other hands are copying poems, suggesting group composition and therefore presenting Hutchinson as either part of a domestic coterie or at least far more engaged in the transmission and circulation of poetry than has been thought hitherto. Hutchinson's transcriptions of various types of poems here situate her anthologizing practice with various Catholic and courtly coteries, and the commonplace book shares characteristics with, for instance, the Cholmley manuscript or the Gell commonplace book. (23) For instance, the Cholmley manuscript, composed between the 1620s and 1640s, includes sonnets translated from Spanish and Italian; Latin tags; Catholic materials; poems by Godolphin, Denham, Waller, and Cleveland; and verse by the coterie that compiled it. Much of the Gell book, also composed between the 1620s and 1640s, is disorganized, and the contributions to the manuscript by Katherine Packer, who compiled much of the material, is in an unsophisticated roundhand; the manuscript as a whole, then, demonstrates the relative education and organization of Hutchinson and her coterie. The Gell manuscript also mixes recipes with letter poetry as well as standard compilation verse, suggesting a more domestic coterie collection compared to that of Hutchinson's more educated one.
It is distinctly probable that the Hutchinson manuscript had two periods of compilation: around 1634-36 and the late 1640s until 1655 or so. This would explain the reversal of the book for the later material. David Norbrook has suggested that Hutchinson maintained links with Cavalier circles throughout the 1640s and 1650s, mainly through her brother Allen and half brother Peter Apsley. (24) The inclusion of poems from that period that might be considered Royalist may be due to these links, as will be discussed below. Certainly the complexity of this compilation suggests that our categorization of readers during the period is too rigid. In order to consider the dating of the manuscript, it is important to further consider the transmission of the biggest piece transcribed in it, Denham's translation of the Aeneid.
VIRGIL IN THE 1630S
Denham entered Lincoln's Inn on 26 April 1631; he matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford, in November of the same year. The Inns of Court were particularly poetically fertile at this point, and there are several factors linking Denham to various literary and political circles. He was evidently connected to the Welsh branch of the Pembroke family. In July 1642, Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon wrote to the Countess of Carnarvon confirming that Denham had delivered him her letter, having just arrived in Nottingham from her house at Wing in Buckinghamshire. (25) Being in Nottingham at this point in time was significant not least because John Hutchinson was then governor of the city. On Denham's return from exile in 1653, the Countess of Carnarvon's brother, the Earl of Pembroke, protected him. It is hard to conceive that Denham would not have come across the poet William Habington during the 1630s (despite their being in different Inns), and, through him, the poet Robert Stapleton. Habington lived in Holborn, and was part of the literary circle clustering around William Cooke's shop at Furnival's Gate. (26) He was related by marriage to the Pembrokes and the Percys and used his associations to forge further links with the Catholic elements at Court. He was the fulcrum for the poetic coterie surrounding James Shirley and active in the Inns of Court's literary defense of the queen after the publication of William Prynne's Histriomastix in 1634. Venuti identifies several echoes in Denham's translation of The Destruction of Troy from masques of the early 1630s, in particular Aurelian Townshend's Tempe Restor'd. (27) As a member of the Inns of Court, Denham would have had access to the various entertainments put on at Holborn.
In 1634, the legal coterie publisher Cooke published Robert Stapleton's translation of book 4 of the Aeneid. (28) The volume was dedicated to Lady Twistleton, wife of George Twistleton and daughter of Henry Stapleton; the author's dedication asserts that he was commanded to translate the work for the perusal of Lady Twistleton, who did not read Latin. Habington wrote a prefatory poem commending Robert Stapleton's translation. The translation of Virgil at this point was a complex and popular practice for a member of the Inns of Court, incorporating as it did issues of patronage, female agency, and Court politics. George Sandys, himself a member of the Great Tew circle, accompanied his ornate and intensely Neoplatonic Ovid's Metamorphosis Englishd with An Essay to the Translation of Virgil's Aeneis (essentially book 1), demonstrating further the cultural value and implication of such translation during the late 1630s. (29)
John Hutchinson arrived at Lincoln's Inn in May 1636. In her memoir of his life, Lucy asserts that he was out of sorts in Holborn: "the towne began to be tedious to him, who was neither taken with wine, nor game, nor converse of wicked or vaine weomen." (30) Denham may have come across John Hutchinson at Lincoln's Inn, although given his five-year seniority and John Hutchinson's alleged antipathy to gambling it is hard to conceive that they got on particularly well. The more feasible connection is through Allen Apsley, Lucy Hutchinson's brother, who was a contemporary of Denham at Trinity College. If Allen Apsley is the link, the date of the meeting could have been anytime after 1631, when Apsley and Denham first became contemporaries at Oxford and Holborn. However, the fact that Apsley was probably a conduit through which the poem could have passed to Lucy's commonplace book does not fully explain the transmission. Denham spent much of the early 1630s at his father's house in Egham, and his biographer suggests that the house in Richmond may have been "a convenient way-stop on his journeys between Egham and London," in which case Denham may have met Lucy independently. (31) What is intriguing about Richmond, offering credence to Brendan O Hehir's argument, is that John Hutchinson was persuaded to go due to the proximity to the Palatine prince's Courts: "where he found a great deale of good young companie, and many ingenuous persons that by reason of the Court, where young princes were bred, entertain'd themselves in that place, and had frequent resort to the house where Mr. Hutchinson tabled." (32) Richmond attracted members of the Inns of Court. Presumably, Robert Stapleton was there in his capacity as Gentleman in Ordinary to the Prince of Wales. Brian Duppa, laudian Tutor to the Prince, would also have been present at various times, as may several of Shirley's Holborn circle. Denham may have therefore been attracted to Richmond not only through his presumed friendship to Apsley, or the convenience of the house's position, but also due to the presence of several key figures in his early poetic career.
When he arrived in Richmond, John Hutchinson heard of Lucy Apsley and became interested in her. Staying at the composer Charles Coleman's house, John Hutchinson heard a song reportedly written by Lucy Apsley in which he sensed "something of rationallity in the sonnett beyond the customary reach of a she witt." (33) This song was also read, and the circulation and consumption of this piece in a country house atmosphere directly inserts Lucy Apsley into contemporary verse composition and coterie transmission practices. In her Memoirs, Lucy describes the vibrant Coleman household: "The man being a skillfull composer in Musick, the rest of the King's Musitians often met at his house to practise new ayres and prepare them for the King; and divers of the gentlemen and Ladies that were affected with musick came thither to heare; others that were not, tooke that pretence to entertaine themselves with the companie." (34) Coleman, who had extensive courtly connections, oversaw a house teeming with courtly musicians, and at this location both John Hutchinson and Lucy Apsley were part of a circle engaged in composition; furthermore, Lucy Apsley was still pursuing her interest in Latin.
Even if Robert Stapleton's and Denham's translations of Virgil are not explicitly connected, it is illustrative to compare them, in particular for consideration of notions of female cultural agency. Robert Stapleton's dedication to Lady Twistleton is a respectful action but one that presents the female patron as an idealized figure not engaged with the intellectual rigors of literary translation, a figure to be given gifts and praised. He publishes without her consent and asks for her pardon in doing this; Denham does not publish at all. Moreover, Lady Twistleton has no Latin, whereas Lucy Apsley was an accomplished linguist (demonstrated, for instance, by her translations of Ovid in the commonplace book). This would indicate that Lucy Apsley's position within this Richmond coterie was more important than has been previously thought. Rather than being a simple conduit for Denham's poetry as a result of a happy combination of circumstances, she emerges more as the fulcrum for the whole relationship. Her father had encouraged her education during her childhood, and the intellectual atmosphere of her upbringing suggests that she was greatly accomplished and academically curious from an early age. While we cannot firmly date the transmission of the manuscript to the 1630s, we can suggest confidently that a meeting of Denham and Lucy Apsley would not have been unusual and that the circulation of Virgil at this point was relatively common.
In many ways, however, the dating of the manuscript to the 1630s requires depending upon circumstantial evidence while ignoring certain crucial information. At the end of the commonplace book, in reverse, are various poems. One of these is Waller's A Panegyric to My Lord Protector. (35) Norbrook has argued that at this point Hutchinson was actively using her commonplace book for composition. It seems odd, however, that she should take up the volume again, as she had not used it since the 1630s. Norbrook has suggested that her interest in poetic Augustanism, evidenced by her transcriptions of Denham and Godolphin, influenced her reply to Waller, an argument that indicates that she was using the translations in the 1650s. (36) Her brother was in contact with both Denham and Hyde Clarendon during the 1650s. Denham's poetry circulated widely in the Paris Court, even being transcribed by Clarendon's secretary William Edgeman, and it may be the case that the poem arrived in Lucy Hutchinson's hands in the mid-1650s, meaning that its transmission has been totally misjudged. Certainly the Hutchinsons were involved in complex relationships during that decade, especially with anti-Cromwellians. They had close connections with Hyde, as did Denham. This would also square with the fact that all the other manuscripts identifiable with Hutchinson at Nottinghamshire date from the 1650s onward. Denham had returned to England in 1653, so there is ample time for a conjectural manuscript to reach Lucy Hutchinson through various routes.
The copying of the Waller/Godolphin translation of Virgil testifies to the commonplace book's concern with Latin translation. This translation of Virgil also appears in the coterie Great Tew manuscript, where it is similarly ascribed to Godolphin with no acknowledgment of Waller's involvement. The translation was published by Moseley in 1658 as The Passion of Didofor AEneas, illustrating the importance of Virgil for Royalists in the middle years of the century. Theodore Howard Banks Jr. points out that the lines that are omitted in Denham's Aeneid are those translated by Waller/Godolphin, concluding that Denham was in contact with Waller in the early 1650s and that he omits the lines because of this connection. (37) Banks also argues that the 1636 version of the poem is rougher as a translation and that it is smoothed out by Denham around 1653, citing some similarities to revisions Denham made in that year to his poem Cooper's Hill and noting Christopher Wase's comment in Brief Lives that in 1652 he translated "a booke of Virgil's Aeneis, and also burlesqu't it." (38)
Given the vogue in the late 1640s and early 1650s for Royalist translation (which was particularly published by Moseley), it is not strange that Denham should compose and anonymously publish such a politically explicit poem at this time. Defeat had led to exile and marginalization for the Royalist intelligentsia. Many Loyalists left for the Continent; the poets who stayed were dissident, if retired and relatively powerless, voices. Those that left increasingly turned to translation and burlesque in an attempt to establish a new mode of expression, a means of cultural survival. (39) Denham, Richard Fanshawe, Abraham Cowley, Thomas Stanley, Edward Sherburne, Thomas Hobbes, James Howell, and John Evelyn all considered or executed translations at some point during exile, redefining translation in exile as an act of Royalist political significance. Those who stayed in England also used this method of dissidence, demonstrated by Wase's translation of Electra in 1649, which was dedicated to Elizabeth Stuart. The desire to turn to a mediated, ventriloquial, deferred form illustrates the newly configured language of Royalist discourse after the death of the king. The turn to translation, too, attempted to address the challenge of creating a national myth anew by returning to the founding narratives of Virgil and, to a lesser extent, Homer. (40) Virgil was also translated in 1658 by James Harrington as a means to express his political frustration at the drift back toward monarchy, and his ambivalent use of Virgil might provide us with a model for Lucy Hutchinson's possible interest in the Aeneid during the 1650s as a vehicle for articulating disillusion. (41)
The political undertones of The Destruction of Troy cannot have been missed, even before Mercurius Politicus revealed Denham's authorship. The poem records the story of the betrayal of Troy and the death of Priam, concluding bleakly: "On the cold earth lyes this neglected King, / A headless Carkass, and a nameless Thing." (42) Significantly, the manuscript version of the fall of Troy does not explicitly refer to the death of Priam and concludes instead with the escape of Aeneas. Comparisons of England to Troy were relatively common at this point, suggesting as they did a glorious imperial future embodied by the survivor of the war and inserting the death of the king into familiar teleological narratives of nation. The title page's claim that the translation was first made in 1636 complicates the notion of authorship. It is presented as a piece of juvenilia, a prelapsarian text. Similarly, Moseley claimed that The Passion of Dido for AEneas, published in 1658, was all the work of Godolphin, who had died in 1643. The anonymity of the translation of The Destruction of Troy presents an author making political points while hiding behind another's words. The preface to the piece terms translation a "disguise" while derogating French and Italian translation practices, and this whiff of conspiracy and falsity in literary practice together with a European perspective places the text at a crucial Royalist nexus point wherein translation becomes a formal means of dissent, a way of expressing deferred grief at the regicide, and a leisure time pursuit in exile. (43) Translation allows points to be made from behind the shield of learning and education.
Given the confluence of Denham and Lucy Apsley in the 1630s, and her underexplored connections to poetic anthologizing and transmission during this period (as well as her more well-considered interest in translation), there is much evidence to place the translation as a product of the 1630s that Denham returned to in exile as part of the cultural response to the regicide. After his return from exile, he published a revised edition of his Cooper's Hill, suggesting a writer interested in returning to prewar writing and reanimating such work in new circumstances. He also wrote anonymous satires and celebrations of Sir William Davenant published as Certain Verses in 1653. Possibly the poem was circulated in scribal form, and Lucy Hutchinson acquired it through her still extensive literary and intellectual connections in the early 1650s.
The Hutchinson manuscript of the Aeneid is an accomplished piece of work. There are substantial variations from the printed text, although this mainly comes with the insertion of a different conclusion; of the 408 equivalent lines in the manuscript text, most--about sixty percent--are similar to or exactly the same as those published. This may imply that the manuscript is that of a draft rather than of a finished version. However, it may also suggest that there is a second manuscript (which the uncertain textual transmission might demand) in between. The imperfect nature of Lucy Hutchinson's transcription further complicates our understanding of the circumstances of its execution. Lines and words are missing, and there are large sections that seem contorted or confused. Several portions of the manuscript are blank but look as though they are to be filled at a later date. The translation is lineal, and the gaps suggest a break in transcription rather than translation. (44) Certainly it may be the case that these sections are being left for later or consciously omitted by the transcriber, which in itself adds a whole new level of intrigue and complexity to the transmission process. It also adds credence to Banks's argument that Denham was simply omitting the sections that Waller was to publish.
Furthermore, if, as Venuti argues in his article on the Destruction of Troy, the 1656 text reflects French translation theory that Denham learned in exile, the reasons for, and method of, translating Virgil is firmly entrenched in the late 1640s and early 1650s rather than the mid-1630s. Venuti considers the differences in fluency (essentially changes of syntax rather than diction) between the two texts but neglects to comment on the extensive similarities. It is crucial to his argument that the published text was translated either in exile or on return from France; this would not square with the assumption that Denham translated Virgil first in 1636. Only a conjunction of the title-page ascription and the conjectured manuscript dating supplies the evidence for a 1636 translation, and most commentators agree that the title page "functions partly as a nostalgic glance back toward less troubled times for royal hegemony and partly as a strategic cultural move in the present," that is, as a culturally determined falsehood rather than a piece of factually biographical information. (45)
The text has changed between composition and publication, despite physical similarities. Compared to the manuscript, the final published piece is a polemical, and often technically superior, piece of work. Compare, for instance, the opening two couplets. The Hutchinson manuscript reads:
While all intent with heedfull silence stand AEneas spake O queene by your command My countries fate our dangers & our feares While I repeate I must repeate my teares. (p. 5)
The Moseley edition reads:
WHile all with silence and attention wait, Thus speaks AEneas from the bed of State. Madam, when you command us to review Our Fate, you make our old wounds bleed anew. (46)
The manuscript version of this is awkward, although maybe more immediate. The syntax is contorted in comparison with the controlled tone of the published text. Denham cuts significantly, excerpting his key section to make political capital out of the translation. The greatest change is the conclusion of book 1. The Destruction of Troy ends with the death of Priam at the hands of Pyrrhus. In the manuscript, Aeneas is warned by Venus and goes to collect his family; Priam is only briefly mentioned. Undeniably, Priam's demise is a more dramatic conclusion; it is also politically explicit. This reading supports the suggestion that Denham returned to an old piece of work after the regicide to express the bleakness of the Royalist camp at this point.
The manuscript Aeneid suggests a poet interested in the epic stories of nation but keen to conserve local and emotional minutiae. The text is full of small details of horror or joy that communicate effectively through the bombast of the epic style. The poem recounts the final days of Troy, the finding of the horse, and the subsequent battle which is relayed in bloody and elegiac style: "Bright with Troys flames ye trumpett dread full sound / The louder grones of diing men confound" (p. 15, lines 295-6). The story is relayed by Aeneas and so follows his flight from Troy with his family. The interpolation of the death of Priam in The Destruction of Troy then seems forced in comparison with the first person story of Aeneas's troubles, at odds with the imaginative organization of the text prior to this. The manuscript also includes far more material on the relationship of Dido and Aeneas, shifting the focus from the national traumas of the defeat of Troy to the more domestic and emotional. The text is in couplets throughout, a mode enabling control and lending organization to the verse. The translation as it stands in Hutchinson's commonplace book demonstrates a poet developing his style, interested in epic historical narratives of nation, and experimenting with his verse.
The status of the Hutchinson commonplace book text as a document of the complex and fluid intellectual relationships of the 1630s, '40s, and '50s reveals to us that we need to understand the crosscurrents of cultural transmission in more depth than we currently do. It may be the educative tool of a young Lucy Hutchinson or a coterie interested in translation, a manuscript collecting Loyalist poetry in order to prepare an answer to it, or just a normal anthology of interesting verse. Each of these entities is viable; certainly trying to tie the text down demonstrates the flexibility and complexity of reading and compilation practices during the seventeenth century. While it would seem clear that the poem itself was composed in the 1630s, it is much less certain when the manuscript version was copied, and this very uncertainty allows us to consider the merits of various models of reading and coterie compilation. The evidence suggests strongly that Hutchinson acquired the poem during the mid-1630s, probably with Denham's knowledge, and that the Destruction of Troy is a revised publication of this early work. However, our very uncertainty about this issue demonstrates that we need to investigate further the cultural and social relationships suggested by coterie manuscripts in order to appreciate the subtleties of loyalty, self-presentation, and interpersonal relationships during the seventeenth century. The manuscript that is in Nottinghamshire Record Office has multiple meanings, and all of them both complicate our picture of reading and composing during this period and suggest that our models of allegiance and intellectual engagement can be further nuanced.
(1) John Denham, trans., The Destruction of Troy, an Essay upon the Second Book of Virgils AEneis. Written in the Year 1636, trans. Denham (London: Printed for Humphrey Moseley, at his shop at the sign of the Prince's Arms in St. Paul's Churchyard, 1656). This text is printed anonymously.
(2) Mercurius Politicus 306 (17-24 April 1656). See also Hilton Kelliher, "John Denham: New Letters and Documents," BLJ 12, 1 (Spring 1986): 1-21, 17.
(3) Osborn Collection, MS 1983, 219, Yale, Beinecke Library is an exemplum of a printed copy of the 1653 edition of Cooper's Hill; Denham also corrected an exemplum of Poems and Translations (1668), now held at Yale (MS pb. 53, Beinecke Library).
(4) Commonplace book of Lucy Hutchinson (nee Apsley), Hutchinson Manuscripts DD/HU, 1, Nottinghamshire Record Office. Subsequent references to this commonplace book are from this manuscript and will appear parenthetically in the text by page number. See Sydney Race, "Notes on Mrs. Hutchinson's Manuscripts," N & Q 13, 1 (March 1923): 3-4; Brendan O Hehir, Harmony from Discords: A Life of Sir John Denham (Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press, 1968). I refer to Lucy Hutchinson as Hutchinson throughout unless directly referring to her courtship with John Hutchinson in the 1630s, when I will refer to her as Lucy Apsley.
(5) O Hehir apparently prepared an edition some thirty-five years ago, but his plans appear to have lapsed in the early 1970s. Robin Sowerby is currently planning an edition.
(6) O Hehir, p. 13. For examples of Hutchinson's hand, see the following instances: BL Add. MSS. 46172 N, fols. 93-6; 25901; 36779, fols. 42-7.
(7) Denham's poem on the execution of the Earl of Strafford politicizes coterie and university anthologies from 1641 onwards, often paired with John Cleveland's poem on the same subject. See, for instance, Harvard MS Eng. 703, pp. 165-6 or BL Egerton MS 2421, fols. 38v-9r. See also Jerome de Groot, Royalist Identities, Early Modern Literature in History (Basingstoke, Hampshire, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 68-9.
(8) For a discussion of coterie manuscripts, see Henry Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts, 1558-1640 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1996).
(9) Lawrence Venuti, "The Destruction of Troy: Translation and Royalist Cultural Politics in the Interregnum," JMRS 23, 2 (Spring 1993): 197-219.
(10) The book was used from the back, upside down. The pagination moves from p. 205 in the middle of the manuscript to p. 206 onward from the back.
(11) Hutchinson's hand is italic with a particular Greek "e." Hands 2 and 5 are narrow italic, and hands 3 and 4 are mixed secretary/italic. These different hands further confuse the dating, as they may well be the same people using the manuscript at different times. I owe the identification of the Nicholas Caussin, the Theophile de Viau, the Edmund Waller "Panegyric" copy text, and the Mathias Casimir material to David Norbrook. I owe the identification of the Thomas Carew, the psalms, and some discussion of the other hands in the manuscript to the description by Jill Millman (Perdita, s.v. "Hutchinson, Lucy," http://human.ntu.ac.uk/research/perdita/frames/html/index.htm [accessed 15 October 2007]). Millman's description of the manuscript is exemplary; she confidently ascribes the manuscript to the 1650s or 1660s.
(12) See Arthur F. Marotti, Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric (Ithaca and London: Cornell Univ. Press, 1995), pp. 68-75.
(13) Index of Literary Manuscripts, compiled by Peter Beal, 4 vols. (London: Mansell; New York: R. R. Bowker, 1980), vol. 1, part 1, pp. 305-13. The Great Tew manuscript can be found in the Bodleian Library, MS Malone 13. It was compiled during the 1630s by the members of Lucius Cary's literary circle. Thomas Carew, Poems (London: printed by I. D. for Thomas Walklem, 1640).
(14) The Passion of Dido for AEneas as It is Incomparably Exprest in the Fourth Book of Virgil, trans. Waller and Sidney Godolphin (London: Printed for Moseley at his shop at the sign of the Prince's Arms in St. Paul's Churchyard, 1658). Collation of the manuscript and the printed text suggests that there is very little substantive difference between them.
(15) See Erica Veevers, Images of Love and Religion: Queen Henrietta Maria and Court Entertainments (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989), and de Groot, "Coteries, Complications, and the Question of Female Agency," in The 1630s: Interdisciplinary Essays on Culture and Politics in the Caroline Era, ed. Ian Atherton and Julie Sanders (Manchester UK: Manchester Univ. Press, 2006), pp. 189-209.
(16) Hutchinson, Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson with the Fragment of an Autobiography of Mrs. Hutchinson, ed. James Sutherland (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1973), p. 31.
(17) Ben Jonson, The Workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: printed by Richard Bishop and Robert Young, 1640), pp. 43-4; Wit and Drollery (London: 1656), pp. 97-9.
(18) The poem also refers to the Adultery Act of 1650.
(19) Newes from the Dead. Or A True and Exact Narration of the Miraculous Deliverance of Anne Greene (Oxford: Printed by Leonard Lichfield, for Tho. Robinson, 1651). For a manuscript referencing Greene, see Folger, MS V.a. 170.
(20) Peter Calfe anthology, BL Harleian MS 6918; William Elyot anthology, Bod. MS Rawlinson Poet. 116; Richard Pattricke anthology, Harvard MS Eng. 1356.
(21) See de Groot, Royalist Identities, p. 107.
(22) See discussions in James Loxley, Royalism and Poetry in the English Civil Wars (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan, 1997), pp. 96-128, 96-102.
(23) Chomley MS, Harvard MS Eng. 703; Gell commonplace book, Harvard bMS 1107. See Sanders, "Tixall Revisited: The Coterie Writings of the Astons and the Thimelbys in Seventeenth-Century Staffordshire," Staffordshire Studies 12 (2000): 75-94; Victoria Burke, "Women and Early Seventeenth Century Manuscript Culture: Four Miscellanies," SCen 12, 2 (Autumn 1997): 135-50; and de Groot, "Coteries."
(24) See also Timothy Raylor, Cavaliers, Clubs, and Literary Culture (Newark: Univ. of Delaware Press; London and Toronto: Associated Univ. Presses, 1994), pp. 66-7. I am grateful to Norbrook for this information, and for much extremely helpful and generous discussion of this manuscript.
(25) BL Stowe MS 142 fol. 147.
(26) For analysis of this circle, see Sandra A. Burner, James Shirley: A Study of Literary Coteries and Patronage in Seventeenth-Century England (London and Boston: Univ. Press of America, 1988), pp. 65-6.
(27) Venuti, p. 207.
(28) Dido and Aeneas the Fourth Booke of Virgils Aeneis Now Englished, trans. Robert Stapleton (printed for William Cooke at Furnivalls Inn Gate in Holborne ).
(29) George Sandys, Ovid's Metamorphosis Englishd; An Essay to the Translation of Virgil's Aeneis (Oxford and London: John Legat, 1640). Furthermore, in 1632, the Calvinist intellectual John Vicars, based at Christ's Hospital in Newgate, published The XII Aeneids of Virgil translated into English decasyllables in Cambridge (Printed by T. Buck, 1632).
(30) Hutchinson, Memoirs, p. 26.
(31) O Hehir, p. 12.
(32) Hutchinson, Memoirs, pp. 27-8.
(33) Hutchinson, Memoirs, p. 29.
(34) Hutchinson, Memoirs, p. 28.
(35) See Norbrook, "Lucy Hutchinson versus Edmund Waller: An Unpublished Reply to Waller's A Panegyric to My Lord Protector," in The Seventeenth Century 11, 1 (Spring 1996): 61-86.
(36) Norbrook, "Lucy Hutchinson versus Edmund Waller," p. 61.
(37) Theodore Howard Banks Jr., introduction to The Poetical Works of Sir John Denham (New Haven and London: Yale Univ. Press, 1928), pp. 39-40.
(38) Banks, p. 42; John Aubrey, Brief Lives, ed. Anthony Powell (London: Cresset Press, 1949), p. 81.
(39) For a brief discussion of the Courts in exile, see P. H. Hardacre, "The Royalists in Exile during the Puritan Revolution, 1642-1660," HLQ 16, 4 (August 1953): 353-71. Richard Fanshawe translated part of Virgil's Georgics, published in his Selected Parts of Horace in 1652.
(40) See Gregory Machacek, "Royalist Homer," TCBS 12, 3 (2002): 331-3.
(41) Norbrook, Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric, and Politics, 1627-1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999), pp. 374-5.
(42) The Destruction of Troy, p. 28.
(43) The Destruction of Troy, sig. A3v.
(44) I owe this point to Robin Sowerby.
(45) Venuti, p. 198.
(46) The Destruction of Troy, p. 1.
Jerome de Groot is the author of Royalist Identities (2004) and numerous articles on gender, royalism, and manuscript culture.…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: John Denham and Lucy Hutchinson's Commonplace Book. Contributors: de Groot, Jerome - Author. Journal title: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. Volume: 48. Issue: 1 Publication date: Winter 2008. Page number: 147+. © 1999 Rice University. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.