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John Skelton's Garland of Laurel and the production and reception of late medieval texts

Morgan, Rachel Emma (2002) John Skelton's Garland of Laurel and the production and reception of late medieval texts. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94542) (KAR id:94542)

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This thesis focuses upon John Skelton’s poem The Garland o f Laurel. It considers the poem in its late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century context, providing an insight into its intellectual and economic conditions of production and reception. It relies upon an examination of its extant material forms as well as of its subject matter.

The thesis considers both the relevance of the poem’s subject matter to its period of production and identifies particular contexts for considering its genesis. It examines the manuscript and early printed text versions of the poem, their production, circulation and reception. It looks at the context provided by the popularity and circulation of the form of miscellany and considers Skelton’s deliberate use of the form as a model for The Garland o f Laurel.

Dream poetry and French dits amoreux are discussed as alternative influences on the composition of the poem. Attention is given to Skelton’s use and adaptation of these genres, particularly to the technique of lyric insertion. In addition, the thesis focuses upon what is known about Howard patronage and sets this in the context of other examples of late medieval female patronage. I provide a new interpretation of Skelton’s poem as a work which explores processes of patronage and the changing dynamics of the relationship between writers and patrons in the late fifteenth century.

Skelton’s self-representation is also considered in the context of his contemporaries, the early Humanists and French Rhetoriqueurs, whose attitudes and authorial activities provide interesting points of comparison. The final chapter examines the making of poetic identity in the context of English literary tradition and in the wider context of foreign relations in the early sixteenth century.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Brown, Peter
Thesis advisor: Hallett, Nicky
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94542
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 15:02 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2023 09:14 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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