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Elizabeth Melville and the poetics of desire in early modern Britain, lecture audio

Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, delivered by Dr Kylie Murray, on 5 May 2016 (venue: The British Academy).

Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross (c.1578-c.1640), was the first Scotswoman to see her poetry printed. This lecture situates her writing in the context of her Calvinist life and milieu, focusing particularly on the renunciation of earthly desire in her Puritanical vision, Ane Godlie Dreame (1603), and her sonnets. Ane Godlie Dreame is newly identified as the culmination of the dream-vision in Scotland, while the sonnets can be understood afresh as inflecting English love poetry towards a distinctively Scottish anti-amatory poetics. Ultimately, as her publication history also attests, Lady Culross was a poet of far greater significance than has previously been recognised.

About the speaker: Kylie Murray is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in English at Balliol College, Oxford. She researches Scotland’s literary, intellectual, and book history, c.1100-c.1600. Her monograph, The Making of the Scottish Dream-Vision, is forthcoming with the British Academy/OUP. She also broadcasts about her research as an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker.

More about the Chatterton Lectures on Poetry

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