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date: 25 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Edward Hall's chronicle, The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York (1548), and the historical verse tragedy compilation A Mirror for Magistrates (various editions from 1554) are two of the Tudor period's most remarkable literary success stories. Hall's chronicle served as a chief inspiration for the authors of A Mirror for Magistrates, who employed it not only as a primary source of information for their own historical verse narratives but also as a model for understanding the most important political tragedies of their own time, tragedies which they dared to confront and to protest by means of the allusive material and topically applicable exemplary narratives included in many of their poems. In great measure, Hall's chronicle set the tragic pattern for interpreting and representing English politics adopted by the Mirror authors for their collection. In turn, the compelling nature of both Hall's approach to English history and the emotionally powerful de casibus tragedy form of the Mirror ensured that this pattern would remain influential upon later generations of English poets and playwrights as they created new literary engagements with England's past.

Keywords: Edward Hall, historical verse narratives, political tragedy, English politics, English history

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