Robert Henryson

Robert Henryson

Robert Henryson

Robert Henryson

Excerpt

Professors W. A. Neilson and K. G. T. Webster asserted not long ago that "it is doubtful whether there is in the whole of English literature a case of neglected genius so remarkable as that of Henryson." Whether or not the poet is a genius is a matter of opinion, but that he has been neglected is a matter of fact. He is recognized today, if at all, as the author of the first English pastoral, Robene and Makyne, and on the strength of this poem he is included occasionally in anthologies. He is also credited, within academic walls, with the authorship of a sequel to Chaucer Troilus and Criseyde. With the exception of infrequent flashes of approval by some voyager in the realm of forgotten literature, Henryson has received little or no further attention. It may be that the volume of his work appears to be too slight, or the nature of his genius too derivative. The object of the present study is to correct such misconceptions and to clear the way for a better understanding and appreciation of the poet and his poetry.

The author would like to take this opportunity to express his gratitude to Professors Rudolph Gottfried, David Daiches, and B. J. Whiting for their kind help at various stages in the preparation of this book. Nor would the expression of indebtedness be complete without mentioning the invaluable advice and counsel of Professor Karl Young, under whom this study of Henryson was initiated.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to. ELH, A Journal of English Literary History; Modern Philology; Modern Language Notes; Modern Language Quarterly; Publications of the Modern Lan guage Association . . .

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