May 13, 2008
A New Edition of George Gascoigne
I have arrived at the poems of George Gascoigne in my re-examination of the Winters Canon on this blog. I want to pause in that work -- Gascoigne's "Woodmanship" is upcoming -- to note something that I failed to notice several years back, in 2001, to be exact: that a new edition of Gascoigne's poetry was issued by a British publisher and that this new edition of Gascoigne's A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres (edited by G.W. Pigman) was reviewed in the London Review of Books. I do not have the web address for the review, but I do believe that it is available online in the issue pictured here. Use a search engine to find it. The new edition itself is available online in a limited, yet generous and handsome, preview at Google books, which will be easy enough for you to track down. An Oxford scholar by the name of Colin Burrow, who is unknown to me, is the author of the LRB review. Burrow offers an insightful overview of Gascoigne's life and poetic career. I learned a few new things about George that will be beneficial in studying his work. He pays some attention to "Woodmanship," which Winters considered a great poem -- indeed, one of the greatest of the greats in the English language, as I shall discuss in my short study of the poem forthcoming. Thankfully, Burrow takes Gascoigne's poetry seriously, though, perhaps, his judgment of his achievement is not nearly so high as Winters's. In particular, Burrow appears to have no knowledge of how Gascoigne sought to adhere to the traditions of classicism in his art, which I consider an error of some importance. But Burrow's review will prove to be a helpful starting-point for your deeper look at the fine classical poetry of George Gascoigne.