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Ferrers, George

MIKE PINCOMBE


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


Extract

George Ferrers (c.1510–1579) is perhaps still best known to students of English Renaissance literature as William Baldwin's principal collaborator in the composition of A mirrour for magistrates (1st edn 1559). Ferrers wrote five ‘tragedies’ – first-person complaints spoken by phantoms of the deceased English nobility from Richard II to Richard III – for the work; he may have helped recruit some of the other poets, too. Moreover, according to Baldwin's preface, it was Ferrers who suggested that it would be a good idea to continue the sequence of tragedies back to the invasion and colonization of Britain by the Trojan refugee Brutus; and this may be his greatest legacy to English poetry, since that is exactly what motivated later continuations of the Mirrour by John Higgins in 1574 and Thomas Blenerhasset in 1578 ( Human 2008 ). In this respect, we might even claim that this larger Mirrour project, as opposed to the original scheme often referred to as ‘Baldwin's Mirrour’ , should perhaps be called ‘Ferrers's Mirrour’ – a tribute to his wider vision and ambition for the work. However, while all this is in itself no mean achievement, in his own time Ferrers was more familiar as the impresario who devised, managed, and acted in the spectacular Christmas revels staged for the pleasure of the young Edward VI in 1551/52 and 1552/53 ( Westfall 2001 ). Sadly, no scripts survive ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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