John Lane’s 1621 Pastoral Poem Tritons Trumpet an Edition of the Trinity College Manuscript Collated with the British Library Manuscript

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Although Lane published three works during his life, this, his most ambitious original work, has never before been published. The calendar structure of the work is principally modeled on Spenser’s Shepheardes Calendar, although Lane divides each month into separate ‘husbandrie’ and ‘moral’ sections. He echoes Chaucer in his use of narrative verse tales incorporating genres such as romance and fabliaux. Lane’s chief aim is to attack the vices of his age, and he has much to say on the instability of the court in contrast with the idyllic life of the country. In originality as well as breadth of subject, Tritons Trumpet represents Lane’s crowning achievement; its constant allusions to contemporary English politics and culture as well as the compelling narrative of its many tales will be of value to Renaissance historians as well as literary scholars.


“This book is a meticulous transcription of a virtually unknown work in manuscript, Triton’s Trumpet….Underwood has done scholars of seventeenth century English literature a valuable service by making this intriguing long poem available to them in published form….Lane’s poem will definitely be of interest to those who study Spenser and his imitators, pastoral eclogues, calendar poems, and georgic poetry.” – Sixteenth Century Journal

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