The Poems of William Dunbar

By William Dunbar Priscilla Bawcutt

Format: Hardback

Aimed at scholars of European Medieval and Renaissance literature, this work gives the text of various Dunbar poem and provides notes and reference material, allowing each poem to be studied. It contains introduction; a listing of textual variants in various early manuscripts and printings; notes on every poem; and a glossary.

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The Association for Scottish Literary Studies

The Association for Scottish Literary Studies is an educational charity that aims to promote the study, teaching and writing of Scottish literature, and to further the study of the languages of Scotland. To these ends, ASLS publishes works of Scottish literature which have either been neglected or which merit a fresh presentation to a modern audience, and critical anthologies of both creative and non-fiction writing.

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William Dunbar (c.1460-1520) bridges the divide between medieval bard and Renaissance poet. From the sonorous beat of the Lament for the Makaris to the subtle satire of "The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo", his self-knowledge and mocking wit points to the development of a modern artistic consciousness while his skill, craftsmanship and sense of language still have the power to inspire today. This book is a must-have for any serious scholar of European Medieval and Renaissance literature. The first volume gives the text of every Dunbar poem while the second provides a wealth of explanatory notes and reference material, allowing each poem to be easily studied in-depth. As well as freshly established texts of all Dunbar's works, these two volumes contain a full introduction; a complete listing of textual variants in all the early manuscripts and printings; extensive notes on every poem; a glossary; and lists of sources and secondary material.


One of the editor's chief concerns has been to elucidate not just the literal sense but also the connotations of Dunbar's words: the figurative and metaphoric uses, the legalisms, poetic archaisms, puns and other wordplay, as well as the use of proverbs, scriptural allusions and debts or affinity to earlier poets. This has taken her into many varied and unexpected areas of medieval life and thought in assembling her line-by-line commentary on every poem in the edition. Readers will find new information about obscure words and phrases and no difficult passage is passed over silently. These volumes are a tribute not only to the wonderful poet whose works they contain but also to the industry, erudition and acumen of his latest editor.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Hardback
Imprint The Association for Scottish Literary Studies
Publication Date 28 Feb 1999
ISBN 9780948877384
Number of Pages 600

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"This is an edition of the highest quality... we now have an edition of Dunbar that is worthy of the poet." (Notes and Queries) "This more scholarly complete edition not only replaces its only serious rival; it deserves recognition as one of the finest achievements in early English textual scholarship of this generation." (Medium AEvum)

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