The Poems of William Habington

The Poems of William Habington

The Poems of William Habington

The Poems of William Habington

Excerpt

The chief aim of this volume is to provide by a careful collation of the three editions (1634, 1635, 1640) published in the author's lifetime a full record of the growth of Castara and a more accurate reprint of the third edition of 1640 than has hitherto been available; and at the same time to bring together and print with Castara the handful of Habington's other poems--the prologues, epilogues and songs from The Queene of Arragon (1640), and the various verse tributes. The principles which have been adopted in dealing with the text are set out in the fourth section of the introduction. It is hoped that the biography, which incorporates new materials and can claim to be more complete than previous treatments, may help towards an intelligent reading of the poems. The brief critical introduction, justified perhaps by the present almost total neglect of Habington, has the same aim. Habington is a minor poet, and not a very important one, but defence of the piety of caring about minor poetry can be left to other hands. The second section of the introduction on Habington's contemporary and later reputation collects and summarizes opinion.

The commentary aims at putting the reader in possession of the information needed for understanding the separate pieces. In one respect it is less complete than I had intended, for the identification from their initials of some of the people addressed by the poet is still impossible. I have elucidated obscurities where I could, supplied notes on some of the people addressed, and quoted from earlier and later writers to show probable sources of Habington's ideas and phrases, and his probable influence on other poets. The use of merely illustrative parallels is restricted, but I have gone to The Queene of Arragon and The Historie of Edward the Fourth by Habington because they are so little known.

It is both a duty and a pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness to all those who at various times have assisted me in different parts of this work; especially to the late Dr. F. E. Hutchinson, who encouraged me to prepare this edition when I started work on Habington several years ago--I hope I have benefited from his generous and expert advice; to Professor L. C. Martin, who with exemplary kindness and patience has read large portions of the work . . .

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