Welcome to the website for Dr Victoria Moul’s Leverhulme-funded research project: Neo-Latin Poetry in English Manuscript Verse Miscellanies, c. 1550-1700.

This project aims to survey for the first time the enormous quantity of neo-Latin verse preserved in early modern English manuscript sources. We hope to restore to scholarly visibility the ‘Latin dimension’ of the bilingual literary culture of sixteenth and seventeenth century England: a period in which Latin (not English) was an international language, and in which not only the reading but also the writing of Latin verse was a significant element in all secondary education.

The project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust over four years (2017-2021). Our team consists of the project lead and principal investigator, Dr Victoria Moul, who is a Senior Lecturer in Latin Language and Literature at King’s College London; Dr Bianca Facchini, a full-time post-doctoral researcher (2017-20); two fully-funded PhD students, Sharon van Dijk and Raffaella Colombo; and, in due course, a second full-time post-doctoral researcher (2019-21) from an early modern history background. In future posts we plan to introduce all team members as well as to explain more about the project, our findings and the implications of this work for the wider understanding of early modern literary culture. We will also write about how this project intersects with others by colleagues elsewhere, and how the project is contributing to initiatives such as exhibitions and school engagement activities.

We hope to be able in due course to post images of the manuscripts we are working with, many of which are  beautiful, and all of which give an immediate sense of their period.

If you are interested in the project or have questions about the material we are working on do please leave a comment.

3 thoughts on “Welcome”

  1. Congratulations and good luck!

    One question. The Earl of Oxford had a higher proportion of literary works dedicated to him than any of his contemporaries. He hired writers such as John Lyly and Anthony Munday.

    The anonymous 1589 Arte of English Poesie singles out Oxford as an excellent writer who wrote anonymously. Gabriel Harvey praised the quality of Oxford’s poems, written in English as well as in Latin.

    Since increasing evidence supports the 1920 theory that Oxford was the author of Shakespeare’s works, it would be fabulous to identify his Latin poetry. If you run across anything possibly connected with Oxford, please let us know.

    Thank you.

    1. Thanks for your comment Richard. I don’t believe that the Earl of Oxford was the author of Shakespeare’s works, but I don’t doubt that Oxford wrote plenty of poetry in both Latin and English, as this is typical of the period. The name Edward de Vere also lends itself to puns and anagrams in Latin. I’ll certainly keep an eye out for anything that might be by him. Does Puttenham really say that Oxford was writing anonymously though? He puts him at the head of a list including Sidney, Greville, Dyer, Raleigh etc and says the excellence of their work would be better known if it were ‘found out and made public’. I don’t think this is obviously a statement about anonymity as such, since the rest of that list are not anonymous poets, but rather authors whose works were circulated (if at all) more in manuscript than in print at the time.

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