Renaissance English Text Society (RETS), Vol. XXXIV
Nicholas Oldisworth’s Manuscript (Bodleian MS. Don.c.24)
This edition makes available for the first time a collection of poems assembled as a possible wedding anniversary gift by the author, Nicholas Oldisworth, for his wife. Within weeks of completing the manuscript, Oldisworth, a devout and dutiful clergyman, died of the plague in 1645. The collection is valuable for its own sake, since it presents a series of poems of above average quality written mostly between 1628 and 1636. There are not many such autograph collections, and certainly none in which the author annotates the occasion of writing many of the poems. For this reason it is a significant contribution to the understanding of poetic communities in Caroline England. The edition would be of value to those working in the fields of Early Modern Studies in general, not simply English Literature, history, or textual and manuscript studies.