John Skelton: The Critical Heritage

By Anthony S. G.Edwards | Go to book overview

Introduction

There are obvious difficulties in any attempt to present John Skelton’s critical heritage. As Patricia Thomson has reminded us in the case of another sixteenth-century poet, Sir Thomas Wyatt, there were virtually no ‘masters of criticism’ before the Restoration. ( 1) It is not until the publication of the second volume of Warton’s ‘History of English Literature’ in 1778—nearly 250 years after Skelton’s death—that we find the first extended evaluation of the poet. Before that, the materials for an understanding of the changing critical appreciation of Skelton are highly fragmentary. One has, in the main, to rely on passing allusions, brief comments, and such inferences as can be adduced from the evidence of Skelton’s influence on the literature of his own and subsequent generations.

It is the fragmentary nature of much of Skelton’s critical heritage that poses the greatest problem. Indeed, much of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century material I have been able to assemble can only be termed criticism by the most elastic use of the term. Dispassionate, or even considered, judgments of his work are (at best) very rare. The chief problem is that Skelton’s reputation, both during his own lifetime and subsequently, has been inextricably bound up with controversy, personal, political and aesthetic. Comparatively little of the early comment on his work is free from this identification of Skelton with partisan causes of various kinds.

But in some ways it is this very tendency to attract controversy that makes Skelton’s reputation such a rewarding subject for study. By focusing on this particular figure it is possible to follow, in a revealing way, fluctuations in literary taste from the sixteenth century through to our own age. When one attempts to trace the vicissitudes of his critical status, Skelton emerges as a valuable representative figure, reflecting changing

-1-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

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

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 226

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.