Abstract

Abstract:

The early modern courtier and writer Dudley, third Baron North, left behind him a wealth of literary manuscripts, including both autograph and scribal versions of his verse, all altered at various stages by North. But a survey of the extant copies of his printed collection, A Forest of Varieties, reveals that North’s labor did not end with publication: nearly every copy of his book bears further emendations in his hand. This article draws together for the first time the scattered evidence of North’s unusual authorial practice. It argues that North was deeply invested in a notion of his writings as inherently protean, and that rather than look for a progress narrative in North’s continual small-scale revisions, we must take each distinct version seriously as part of a larger commitment to a body of work that was as changeable as the author himself.

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