Letters


Still at large

The article by Altschuler & Jansen ('Gentlemen at large', Winter 2003 MT) introduces interesting speculation about the identity of Yonge's 'gentleman'. There are, however, more clues in the preface to the 1588 Musica Tramalpina than the authors present. For instance, we are told that he did the translations 'for his private delight', suggesting a family man who sang madrigals at home, and he is mentioned in the same breath as another 'verie honourable personage [...] now a Councellour of estate' who had englished some 'Napolitans'. Later in the preface we learn that it was known that he bore 'great love and affection' for the dedicatee, Gilbert Talbot, and that in the weeks before publication he was not near enough London 'as by any reasonable meanes I could give him notice'. One could make a tolerable shortlist from all this. However, it would not include Watson, the poet of Italian Madrigals Englished, gentleman though he was (he signed himself as such on three of his title pages, including the one in question, and was a friend of the Walsingham family) for his method was quite different and his style recognisable.

On the second question raised of who copied Yonge 's and Watson's words into the BL copy of Marenzio a 6 (Antwerp 1594), there seem to be less clear markers. …

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