James VI and I, Literature and Scotland
This volume offers a broadly conceived sequence of perspectives on
cultural change, principally in Scotland and from Scottish perspectives,
during the long reign of King James VI and I. The contributors to this
volume include established and new scholars in early modern history and
literary studies from Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, as
well as Canada and the United States. From the perspectives they
provide, the cultural changes of the reign of James VI and I emerge out
of a colloquy between the king and his realms, a colloquy in which each
of the participants is undergoing a transformation.
The essays in this volume explore the locations and circumstances in
which literary activity proliferates around and beyond James’s court.
They also shed light on Scottish culture after James’s accession to the
English throne in 1603. The contested phenomenon of Scottish literature
in the latter decades of James’s rule warrants attention by those who
are interested in cultural change as a means of adaptation to political
dislocation. The evident experimentation in new and traditional literary
forms is arguably such a means, as is the elaboration of stylistic
affinities between allied writers. At various points in Scottish society
at the outset of the seventeenth century, such experiments and
affinities have their own sustaining and transformative value.