Seccombe and Arber, comps. Elizabethan Sonnets. 1904.
IN the Introduction to these volumes I illustrate the close dependence of the Elizabethan sonnet on foreign models. The research continues an investigation of which the first results have already appeared in my Life of Shakespeare.
No full nor detailed examination of the foreign influences at work on Elizabethan literature has yet been undertaken, and I hope that the length to which the present essay runs will be excused on account of the novelty of its information. But, despite the number of pages which I have pressed into my service, my treatment of the relations subsisting between this comparatively small branch of Elizabethan literature and continental literary effort is far from exhaustive. That fact is worth emphasising, because it may suggest to students of Elizabethan literature how wide and fertile a field of literary research still awaits thorough exploration, and may encourage them to engage in it.
With a view to aiding further pursuit of the inquiry, I have added two indexesthe first of proper names, the second of first lines. These indexes have been compiled by Mr. W. B. Owen, B.A., who has also verified the text of the numerous quotations that figure in the Introduction.
THE TEXTS contained in the present volume are reprinted with very slight alterations from the English Garner issued in eight volumes (18771890, London, 8vo) by Professor Arber, whose name is sufficient guarantee for the accurate collation of the texts with the rare originals, the old spelling being in most cases carefully modernised. The contents of the original Garner have been rearranged and now for the first time classified, under the general editorial supervision of Mr. Thomas Seccombe. Certain lacunae have been filled by the interpolation of fresh matter. The Introductions are wholly new and have been written specially for this issue.