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Home » » Write a short note on Tottel's Miscellany

A number of early Elizabethan poems and songs were printed and published together by one printer Mr. Richard Tottel, under the title Songs and Sonnettes, written by the right honourable Lorde Henry Howard; Late Earle of Surrey and Others. The volume is popularly known as Tottel's Miscellany. It is found to contain poems, mainly from Wyatt and Surrey and from some other poets. The volume proved to be immensely popular and passed through several editions within a short span. The first thirty-two pages of the Miscellany contains thirty-six poems of Surrey. These are followed by Wyatt’s poems. The other contributions to Tottel’s Miscellany include Nicholas Gimald, Thomas Lord Vaux, John Heywood, Edward Somerset etc. There are love poems, sonnets in the Petranchan convention of Wyatt and Surrey and also the songs of complaints about feminine fickleness and frialty. 

The historical importance of Tottel’s Miscellany is immense. It is the first surviving printed communication of poetry to a great variety of readers. The collection presents different types of works and thereby indicates different poetical influences and inclinations at work in the early days of the Renaissance. 

It can be said undoubtedly that without the Tottel’s Miscellany, much of the early poems of the Elizabethan age would have been lost. Toftel’s Miscellany, helped by the process of printing, at least managed to preserve the works that had to create a remarkable tradition in English poetry. Tottel’s preservation of the sonnets of Wyatt and Surrey may be mentioned in particular. 


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