Other literary forms

(British and Irish Poetry, Revised Edition)

In addition to the poems listed above, John Skelton wrote a play, or, more properly, an interlude (a short allegorical morality play), called Magnyfycence (1516), which counsels monarchs against excessive liberality. Skelton also participated in a popular form of court entertainment called “flyting,” in which two courtiers trade insults before an audience of their peers. In particular, Skelton flyted one Christopher Garnish, and some of his “insults” persist in the Poems Against Garnish (1513-1514).

Finally, Skelton translated a significant number of works and had a reputation as an excellent Latinist. His translations apparently included the works of Diodorus Siculus, Cicero’s Ad familiares (62-43 b.c.e.; The Familiar Epistles, 1620) and Guillaume Deguilleville’s La Pélerinage de la vie humaine. The latter two works, mentioned in The Garlande of Laurell, do not survive. Skelton also composed a moral guidebook: Speculum Principis (1501, also known as A Mirror for Princes).