William of Hawthornden Drummond Criticism - Essay

Philip Sidney (essay date 1900)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Sidney, Philip. Introduction to Conversations of Ben Jonson with William Drummond of Hawthornden, edited by Philip Sidney, pp. 1-9. London: Gay and Bird, 1900.

[In the following excerpt, Sidney details the circumstances surrounding Drummond's meeting with Ben Jonson, which is recorded in Notes of Ben Jonson's Conversations with William Drummond of Hawthornden.]

The Conversations of Ben Jonson with his brother poet, William Drummond, Laird of Hawthornden, are of an immense literary and historical value. From the notes recorded by Drummond of these Conversations we derive an insight into the characteristics of the majority of the most illustrious...

(The entire section is 973 words.)

L. E. Kastner (essay date 1913)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Kastner, L. E. Introduction to The Poetical Works of William Drummond of Hawthornden, With ‘A Cypresse Grove,’ edited by L. E. Kastner, pp. xv-xliv. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1913.

[In the following excerpt, Kastner provides an overview of Drummond's life and works, discussing the poet's literary influences, his modest critical following, and the derivative nature of his verses.]

To the most unobservant reader of Drummond's poetry it is at once evident that his verse is wholly exotic. It shares that character with the poetry of his Scottish contemporaries and immediate predecessors. It is no exaggeration to say that the poetry produced in...

(The entire section is 8007 words.)

Ruth C. Wallerstein (essay date December 1933)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Wallerstein, Ruth C. “The Style of Drummond of Hawthornden in its Relation to his Translations.” PMLA 48, no. 4 (December 1933): 1090-107.

[In the following essay, Wallerstein analyzes Drummond's translations of Petrarch, Tasso, Marino, and others, focusing on the style of his translations and how these authors influenced Drummond's own writing.]

William Drummond of Hawthornden is as much a translator as an original poet. This Mr. Kastner has shown in detail in the copious notes to his edition of the poet and in several special articles.1 He translated and adapted from a large number of Italian and French poets, as well as some Spanish and some...

(The entire section is 6782 words.)

French Rowe Fogle (essay date 1952)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Fogle, French Rowe. “The General View.” In A Critical Study of William Drummond of Hawthornden, pp. 167-77. New York: King's Crown Press, 1952.

[In the following essay, Fogle traces Drummond's poetic development from his early interest in the work of the Renaissance love poets to his mature religious and social verse.]

Drummond is generally regarded as a “professional” poet, that is, a poet who spent his life writing poetry. This impression comes partly from the fact that we know little else about him except that he did write poetry, and partly from the fact that the bulk of his poetry is considerable and we therefore assume that it must have taken him...

(The entire section is 3553 words.)

Ronald D. S. Jack (essay date July 1968)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Jack, Ronald D. S. “Drummond of Hawthornden: The Major Scottish Sources.” Studies in Scottish Literature 6, no. 1 (July 1968): 36-46.

[In the following essay, Jack discusses Drummond's literary debt to such Scottish poets as William Fowler and William Alexander.]

L. E. Kastner in his valuable edition of Drummond's poetry commits himself to the view, that “a full third of Drummond's compositions are translations, and betray in no uncertain manner the imitative temper of his Muse.”1 With an impeccable knowledge of French, Italian and Spanish to back him up, Kastner then produces an impressive number of models in these languages and adds to them...

(The entire section is 4190 words.)

Robert H. MacDonald (essay date July-October 1969)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: MacDonald, Robert H. “Amendments to L. E. Kastner's Edition of Drummond's Poems.” Studies in Scottish Literature 7, nos. 1 & 2 (July-October 1969): 102-22.

[In the following essay, MacDonald takes issue with L. E. Kastner's 1913 edition of Drummond's poetry, identifying manuscript poems that were not included in the collection and verses that were wrongly attributed to Drummond.]

Introducing a selection of the unpublished poems of Drummond of Hawthornden, David Laing states the case for the responsible Victorian editor, a case for eclectic publication, selective, careful and moral.

The fair fame of many a Poet has...

(The entire section is 8589 words.)

Robert H. MacDonald (essay date April-June 1971)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: MacDonald, Robert H. “A Disputed Maxim of State in Forth Feasting (1619).” Journal of the History of Ideas 32, no. 2 (April-June 1971): 295-98.

[In the essay below, MacDonald analyzes Drummond's ideas of kingship and politics, and compares the poet's beliefs to the popular opinions of his day.]

Among the holograph manuscripts of the Scottish poet William Drummond of Hawthornden is a rough draft of a letter probably intended for his friend at court, Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling.1 It consists of a defense of a line in Drummond's own poem Forth Feasting, a piece written to celebrate the return to Scotland in 1619 of King...

(The entire section is 2333 words.)

Thomas I. Rae (essay date April 1975)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Rae, Thomas I. “The Historical Writing of Drummond of Hawthornden.” The Scottish Historical Review 54, no. 157 (April 1975): 22-62.

[In the following essay, Rae analyzes The History of the Five Jameses, examining the circumstances of its publication, Drummond's sources, and what the work reveals the author's political attitudes.]

William Drummond of Hawthornden is a figure well-known to the student of Scottish literature for his poetry, and to the scholar and bibliographer for his gift of books in 1627 to the then recently-founded library of Edinburgh University. He is less well-known as a writer of history, a pursuit he turned to in his later years;...

(The entire section is 16951 words.)

Robert H. MacDonald (essay date 1976)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: MacDonald, Robert H. Introduction to William Drummond of Hawthornden: Poems and Prose, edited by Robert H. MacDonald, pp. ix-xxvi. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1976.

[In the following excerpt, MacDonald surveys Drummond's life and literary career, arguing that although he is often considered an “unfashionable” poet, Drummond is still worth studying.]

Drummond of Hawthornden, it could be argued, was the best poet Scotland produced between Douglas and Ramsay. Certainly he ranks higher than any other Scot of the seventeenth century, and looking south, he holds his own as one of the superior craftsmen of his age. Yet his work has been much neglected, and...

(The entire section is 6736 words.)

Sibyl Lutz Severance (essay date 1981)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Severance, Sibyl Lutz. “‘Some Other Figure’: The Vision of Change in Flowres of Sion, 1623.” Spenser Studies 2 (1981): 217-28.

[In the following essay, Severance explores Drummond's Flowres of Sion, focusing on its structure and religious symbolism.]

William Drummond's vision of change shapes his poetic sequence, Flowres of Sion (1623). The first sonnet insistently defines his theme:

All onely constant is in constant Change,
What done is, is undone, and when undone,
Into some other figure doth it range,
Thus rolles the restlesse World beneath the Moone.(1)

This sonnet also proffers the solution for...

(The entire section is 4226 words.)

H. Neville Davies (essay date May 1985)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Davies, H. Neville. “Milton's Nativity Ode and Drummond's ‘An Hymne of the Ascension.’” Scottish Literary Journal 12, no. 1 (May 1985): 5-23.

[In the following essay, Davies contends that Drummond's “An Hymne of the Ascension” influenced Milton's “On the Morning of Christ's Nativity.”]

Perhaps it is doubt about precedence that has inhibited consideration of how Drummond of Hawthornden's ‘An Hymne of the Ascension’ and Milton's ‘On the Morning of Christ's Nativity’ are related. The neglect is unfortunate because the similarities between the two poems—or two hymns, the greater part of Milton's poem being designated ‘Hymn’—are such...

(The entire section is 6957 words.)

David W. Atkinson (essay date 1986)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Atkinson, David W. “The Religious Voices of Drummond of Hawthornden.” Studies in Scottish Literature 21 (1986): 197-209.

[In the following essay, Atkinson asserts that Drummond's poetry and prose writings reveal an insightful mind searching for answers to the complex and controversial religious issues of his day.]

For a long time, critics viewed William Drummond as a first-class translater but a second-class poet, as one who carried the Renaissance ideal of imitation too far, producing poetry, as well as prose, which was little more than English renderings of European originals.1 More recent critics, however, have found that Drummond is more than...

(The entire section is 4325 words.)

Robert Cummings (essay date January 1987)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Cummings, Robert. “Drummond's Forth Feasting: A Panegyric for King James in Scotland.” The Seventeenth Century 2, no. 1 (January 1987): 1-18.

[In the following essay, Cummings examines Drummond's Forth Feasting as an example of the panegyric verse form. The critic maintains that Drummond innovatively modified the “ethical obligations” of the panegyric form in order to address his philosophical ideas about the monarchy.]

‘His censure of my verses was that they were all good … save that they smelled too much of the schools, and were not after the Fancie of the tyme … yett that he wished, to please the King, that piece of...

(The entire section is 8744 words.)

David Reid (essay date 1987)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Reid, David. “Royalty and Self-Absorption in Drummond's Poetry.” Studies in Scottish Literature 22 (1987): 115-31.

[In the following essay, Reid contends that Drummond's Spenserian poetic style contradicts his political ideas, particularly his royalist sympathies.]

One of the ideas Christopher Hill throws off in Milton and the English Revolution is that Milton was brought up on a tradition of political dissent in poetry.1 He suggests that Milton's headmaster, Alexander Gill, saw to it that the boys of St. Paul's formed their taste in English poetry on Spenser and the Spenserians, Drayton, Giles and Phineas Fletcher, Browne and Wither. The...

(The entire section is 6811 words.)