Abstract

This essay reexamines the authorship of The Passion of a Discontented Minde (1601, 1602, 1621), a long penitential poem. It challenges on several counts the poem’s generally accepted attribution to Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex, and argues the older case for Nicholas Breton. Analyzing aspects of the poem’s transmission in manuscript and print, I compare some verbal details in the poem with those in attested works by Breton. The poem’s attribution to Essex necessitates an extraordinary and implausible picture of his final hours in the Tower, whereas the work sits well alongside Breton’s contemporaneous devotional writings.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 23-44
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-04
Open Access
No
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