Special Topic: Reconfiguring Authorship

“And every day new Authors doe appeare…”: Labelling the Author in the Front Matter of Thomas Beedome’s Poems Divine, and Humane (1641)

Author
  • Sarah Herbe (University of Salzburg)

Abstract

In 1641, Thomas Beedome’s first and only book, Poems Divine, and Humane, was published posthumously. Considering this volume of poetry in the context of a proliferation of poetry publishing in mid-seventeenth century England and accepting the idea that early modern paratexts provided an ideal site for the renegotiation and manifestation of authorship, I argue that throughout the front matter of Beedome’s book, the largest part of which is taken up by commendatory poetry, a concept of the author, not only as singular creator, but also as proprietor of his work, is created. This essay shows how the writers of the commendatory verses try to single out Beedome by almost obsessively labelling him as a worthy author, comparing him favourably with classical and contemporary poets, and affirming the proprietary relationship between Beedome and his poems.

Keywords: Thomas Beedome, miscellanies, paratexts, encomia, early modern literature, poetry, Sarah Herbe

How to Cite:

Herbe, S., (2014) ““And every day new Authors doe appeare…”: Labelling the Author in the Front Matter of Thomas Beedome’s Poems Divine, and Humane (1641)”, Authorship 3(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/aj.v3i1.1069

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Published on
31 Mar 2014
Peer Reviewed
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