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date: 02 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that, in the later sixteenth century, satires and negative comments about lawyers offered a means to shape professional decorum. A signal example is John Davies’s Epigrammes (c.1592–5; pub. c.1598–9), which negatively depict lawyers, Inns-of-Court men, and their social milieu. Yet the Epigrammes differ from contemporary legal satire by presenting, in the speaker of the series, a positive ethos for legal men. In developing these points, this chapter argues for one relationship between the legal and literary cultures of the Inns of Court and rereads Davies’s Epigrammes to show how this verse is similar to and distinctive from later sixteenth-century legal satire.

Keywords: John Davies (1569–1626), Inns of Court, legal profession, barristers, legal satire, epigrams, Pierre Bourdieu, Habitus

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