Chandler, Wayne A. Books
Dr. Wayne Chandler received his Ph.D. in English Renaissance literature at the University of Alabama. He is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Northwest Missouri State University. He has published in several refereed journals, including Renaissance Papers 1998.2005 0-7734-6206-6
Commendatory poems are a type of praise-poetry, written by one author to accompany the work of another. The poems were printed in the same volume as the work they commend, to which the author refers to as the subject work. The majority of English Renaissance commendatory verse-which forms the majority of all such verse-has been out of print since its original publication.
This volume would be the first general anthology of commendatory poems, making these works for the first time widely and readily available for the study that they deserve and that has been so long overdue. The volume contains a cross-section of poems from authors both celebrated and obscure, taken from works from a variety of genres; all such verse attached to printed Renaissance drama; and all commendatory poems written by or for Ben Jonson, the most prolific writer and most successful manipulator of the genre.2003 0-7734-6770-X
Commendatory verse – poetry written by one author specifically to commend the work of another – presents a window on English Renaissance literary culture as wide and clear as any yet found, a window through which very few scholars have looked. This study examines particularly the paratextual functions of commendatory poetry and the relationship of those functions to contemporary Renaissance conceptions of authorship. Chapters examine the poem as advertisement for the book to which it is attached and its role in book-selling, the state of patronage; the way the writers promoted themselves through the poems they wrote for others, with Ben Jonson serving as an example, the poems’ influence on reader response, with a discussion of William Shakespeare, examining the interplay of personal agency and cultural work in the liminary material of “Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies.” One appendix identifies the original material of all commendatory poems written by Ben Jonson, and another identifying all printed drama before 1641 accompanied by commendatory verse.