Critical Edition of the Circumstantial Verse of Joachim Du Bellay

Author: Hartley, David
There was a wealth of patriotic verse composed during the reign of Henri II (1547-1559), Du Bellay’s contribution being the most significant. The events on which he commented were of major importance, culminating at the end of the reign with the capture of Calais and the accidental death of the King. This provides insight into the patriotic mentality of Du Bellay and the Pléïade poets, a vital element in their inspiration. The present edition brings together for the first time ten major poems on the events of the reign. Each poem is preceded by a short presentation placing it in its historical context. The text, based on the earliest known printing, is followed by an extensive commentary, providing full information on the historical, mythological and rhetorical framework of the poem, relating the poem to other work by Du Bellay and establishing points of comparison with other pieces on the same event by his fellow poets.


" ... a carefully planned, cohesive edition that puts these particular poems firmly in a political and social context, and thereby encourages investigation into the sort of historical ramifications that are very much on the agenda of contemporary criticism ... All the poems are exhaustively annotated, and these annotations have the great merit of providing evidence for the rhetoric in which ideas were articulated. Hartley has traced the way Du Bellay utilises and adapts procedures of humanist rhetoric (the elite public discourse of the time), as well as allusions and appropriations within the field of classical sources. Also, and very, interestingly, he has pointed to Du Bellay’s intratextual language, often demonstrating that the public voice of these political poems runs in parallel with, and sometimes counter, to the much more private style of Du Bellay’s more famous collections." – Ann Moss

" ... an excellent edition, which would provide students with a good introduction to another, important side of Du Bellay from that usually studied, while at the same time providing scholars with a stimulus for further research." – Philip Ford

Table of Contents

Introduction: Du Bellay’s circumstantial poetry
Prosphonematique au roy treschretien Henry II
Chant triumphal sur le voyage de Boulongne
Ode sur la naissance du Duc de Beaumont
Complainte sur la mort du duc Horace Farnaize
Les tragiques regrets de Charles V. empereur
Discours au roy sur la trefve de l’an MDLV
Les furies contre les infracteurs de foy
Hymne au roy sur la prinse de Callais
Le Tumbeau du treschrestien roy Henry II
Ample Discours au Roy, sur le faict des quatre estats du Royaume de France