The English Aeneid: Translations of Virgil, 1555-1646

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This study brings to light a history of English Renaissance Aeneids that has been lost from view. Previous monographs have explored the complete translations by Gavin Douglas (1513) and John Dryden (1697), but there has been little research focussing on the Aeneid translations which appeared in between. This book covers the period from the beginning of Elizabeth's reign to the start of the English Civil War, during which time there were thirteen authors who composed substantial translations of Virgil's epic. These translators include prominent literary figures - such as Richard Stanyhurst, Christopher Marlowe, and Sir John Harington - as well as scholars, schoolmasters, and members of parliament. Rather than simply viewing these Aeneids as scattered efforts preceding Dryden and the 'golden age' of Augustan translation, this book argues that these works represent a recognizable and important period of English classical translation. Drawing on manuscripts and printed sources, the book sketches a continuous portrait of the English Aeneids as they developed through the ages of Elizabeth, James, and Charles I. Key features. Reconsiders the role that Virgil's epic played in the English Renaissance. Identifies a period in translation history. Offers original readings of influential texts. Brings together the realms of literature and politics.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages224
ISBN (Electronic)9780748699094, 9781474404525
ISBN (Print)9780748699087
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2015

Publication series

NameEdinburgh Critical Studies in Literary Translation
PublisherEdinburgh University Press


  • politics reception
  • translation
  • Virgil
  • English Renaissance
  • classical translation


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