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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

George Cavendish is one of the great forgotten figures of mid-Tudor poetry. His so-called Metrical Visions is a long visionary poem containing a sequence of tragic complaints spoken by the phantasmal apparitions of a series of mid-Tudor personages from Cardinal Wolsey (d. 1530) to Lady Jane Grey (d. 1554). This article explores certain elements of the formal structure of Cavendish's poem in the light of the English de casibus tradition. The main current of this literary genre — or, rather, genre complex — was transmitted to Tudor readers and writers by John Lydgate's The Fall of Princes, a verse ‘translation’of Giovanni Boccaccio's De casibus virorum illustrium. Cavendish is likely to have read the poem in the most recent edition, which was printed by Richard Pynson in 1527, when Cavendish was still in the service of Cardinal Wolsey.

Keywords: Metrical Visions, poets, mid-Tudor poetry, de casibus tradition

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