George Sandys Criticism - Essay

Richard Hooper (essay date 1872)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Hooper, Richard. Introduction to The Poetical Works, Vol. 1, by George Sandys, edited by Richard Hooper, pp. ix-lv. 1968. Reprint. London: John Russell Smith, 1872.

[In the following essay, Hooper notes the high esteem in which prominent men of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries held Sandys, offers biographical information taken from contemporary accounts, discusses the publication and reception of various editions of Sandys's works, and concludes that Sandys has been overlooked as a poet.]

Such has been the growing taste for Sacred Poetry during the past forty years that little apology is needed for re-introducing to the public the works of...

(The entire section is 10050 words.)

J. M. Attenborough (essay date 1905)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Attenborough, J. M. “George Sandys, Traveler and Poet.” Westminster Review CLXIII (January-June 1905): 643-55.

[In the following essay, Attenborough provides an overview of Sandys's life and works.]

All frequenters of the second-hand book-shop must be familiar with the noble seventeenth-century folio volumes which bear on their backs the joined names of Ovid and George Sandys. Those who have had the curiosity to reach one down from its place have been well rewarded by the sight of its strange and magnificent illustrations. The few who have borne away a copy cannot fail to have been delighted by the once-praised but now-forgotten verses which fill its long...

(The entire section is 5727 words.)

Edmond S. de Beer (essay date 1937)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: De Beer, Edmond S. “George Sandys's Account of Campania.” Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, new series, XVII, no. 4 (March 1937): 458-65.

[In the following essay, de Beer argues that the account of Campania in the fourth book of the Relation is almost entirely derived from other sources.]

George Sandys's A Relation of a Iourney begun An: Dom: 1610, first published in 1615, was one of the most popular of seventeenth-century travel books.1 The account of Campania contained in the fourth book2 is probably the least important part of the work; the object of the present article is to show that it is almost entirely...

(The entire section is 2622 words.)

Russell H. Barker (essay date 1937)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Barker, Russell H. “George Sandys' Relation.Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Art and Letters XXX (1937): 253-73.

[In the following essay, Barker discusses Relation as a work written by Sandys for the purpose of educating his readers.]

Evidence is not hard to find for the popularity soon achieved by George Sandys' Relation, his account of a journey to Turkey, Egypt, the Holy Land, and the “Remote parts of Italy, and Ilands adjoining,” published in 1615. By 1670 the book had gone through seven editions, and parts of it had been included by Samuel Purchas among His Pilgrimes. During the seventeenth century...

(The entire section is 8730 words.)

Richard Beale Davis (essay date 1947)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Davis, Richard Beale. “America in George Sandys's ‘Ovid.’” William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, 4 (July 1947): 297-304.

[In the following essay, Davis asserts that Sandys's experiences of the life and landscape of North America strongly influenced his translation of Ovid.]


The translation of the fifteen books of Ovid's Metamorphoses by George Sandys has been called “the first utterance of the conscious literary spirit articulated in America.”1 The circumstances of its production provides the basis for this assertion. Sandys, treasurer and director of industry at Jamestown from 1621 until late in...

(The entire section is 3282 words.)

Richard Beale Davis (essay date 1955)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Davis, Richard Beale. “Courtier and Sacred Poet.” In George Sandys, Poet-Adventurer: A Study in Anglo-American Culture in the Seventeenth Century. London: The Bodley Head, 1955, 320 p.

[In the following excerpt, Davis examines Sandys's paraphrases and original poems and finds that the author's weaknesses and strengths were both the result of the fact that he was a scholar as well as a poet.]

Sandys' life from the publication of the 1626 Ovid to his death at the outbreak of the Civil War was apparently busy and happy. Not too much direct evidence as to his personal actions remains. But the surviving details pieced together with the knowledge of what his...

(The entire section is 11196 words.)

Richard Beale Davis (essay date 1956)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Davis, Richard Beale. “Sandys's Song of Solomon: Its Manuscript Versions and Their Circulation.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 50 (1956): 328-41.

[In the following essay, Davis analyzes Sandys's intent in writing his paraphrase of the Song of Solomon, the manner of and motive for circulating the poem in manuscript, the reason for the delay in its publication, and the probability that there was a lost additional printed version of the poem.]

The ten known printed and manuscript texts of George Sandys' A Paraphrase upon the Song of Solomon (1641) present several problems regarding this particular poem and offer interesting...

(The entire section is 4393 words.)

Douglas Bush (essay date 1970)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Bush, Douglas. Foreword to Ovid's Metamorphosis, Englished, Mythologized, and Represented in Figures, by George Sandys, edited by Karl K. Hulley and Stanley T. Vanersall, pp. vii-xiii. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press, 1970.

[In the following essay, Bush compares Sandys's translations of and commentaries on Ovid's Metamorphoses to those of John Dryden, Arthur Golding, and others.]

We may look first at the translator, who, like so many writers of his robust and stirring age, was not merely a man of books. George Sandys (1578-1644) came of a prominent family. He was the son of Edwin Sandys, Archbishop of York, and a younger brother of Sir Edwin,...

(The entire section is 3726 words.)

Marie A. Powles (essay date 1974)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Powles, Marie A. “Dramatic Significance in the ‘Figures’ Prefacing Each Book of Sandys' Translation of Ovid's Metamorphosis.The University of Dayton Review Vol. 10, no. 3 (summer 1974): 39-45.

[In the following essay, Powles examines the first plate preceding the title page of the 1640 edition of Sandys' Ovid, explaining the symbolic content of the illustration and showing how translator, artist, and engraver worked to present Sandys's version of Ovid's work in a unique way—as a play to be staged and interpreted by the gods.]

Although it is probably commonplace to suggest that the truly representative figures of any given literary...

(The entire section is 3465 words.)

Christopher Grose (essay date 1981)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Grose, Christopher. Introduction to Ovid's Metamorphoses: An Index to the 1632 Commentary of George Sandys, pp. vii-xi. Malibu: Undena Publications, 1981, 154 p.

[In the following excerpt, Grose discusses Sandys's commentary to his 1632 translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, contending that it was influenced by Francis Bacon.]

They will repeale the goodly exil'd traine
Of gods and goddesses, which in thy just raigne
Were banish'd nobler Poems, now, with these
The silenc'd tales o'th' Metamorphoses
Shall stuffe their lines, and swell the windy Page,
Till Verse refin'd by thee, in this last Age,
Turne ballad rime. …

Thomas Carew,...

(The entire section is 1985 words.)

Lee T. Percy (essay date 1984)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Percy, Lee T. “George Sandys: A Translator Between Two Worlds.” In The Mediated Muse: English Translations of Ovid, 1560-1700, pp. 37-70. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1984.

[In the following essay, Percy examines Sandys's translation of Ovid and argues that in this work Sandys displays qualities associated with both the Renaissance and with modern times.]

In 1623, on a tiny ship crossing the Atlantic “amongst the roreing of the seas, the rustling of the Shroude, and the clamour of the Saylers,” George Sandys, newly appointed treasurer of the Virginia Company, sat down to translate two books of Ovid's Metamorphoses.1 Later, in the midst of...

(The entire section is 13291 words.)

Jonathan Haynes (essay date 1986)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Haynes, Jonathan. “The Literary Character of the Relation.” In The Humanist as Traveler: George Sandys's Relation of a Journey begun An. Dom. 1610. Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1986, 160 p.

[In the following excerpt, Haynes offers a detailed analysis of the literary qualities of Relation.]

It is already been said that the Relation is the most “literary” of English Renaissance travel books; the purpose of this chapter is to estimate what this means. The polish of its prose, the poetic translations with which it is studded, and the erudition with which it sometimes bristles are easy enough to notice, but they need to be...

(The entire section is 11980 words.)

Jody Hoppe (essay date 1989)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Hoppe, Jody. “Illustrations in George Sandys' Translation of Ovid's Metamorphosis.Soundings 20 (1989): 29-36.

[In the following essay, Hoppe maintains that the illustrations included in Sandys's translations of Ovid's Metamorphoses were important not only for their artistry but also for exposing Baroque style to a larger audience.]

Of bodies chang'd to other shapes I sing.
Assist, you Gods (from you these changes spring
And, from the Worlds first fabrick to these times,
Deduced my never-discontinued Rymes.

These are the opening lines of George Sandys' Ovid's Metamorphosis englished, mythologiz'd and represented in...

(The entire section is 2163 words.)