Looking at late medieval Scottish poetic narratives which incorporate exploration of the amorousness of kings, this study places these poems in the context of Scotland's repeated experience of minority kings and a consequent instability in governance. The focus of this study is the presence of amatory discourses in poetry of a political or advisory nature, written in Scotland between the early fifteenth and the mid-sixteenth century. Joanna Martin offers new readings of the works of major figures in the Scottish literature of the period, including Robert Henryson, William Dunbar, and Sir David Lyndsay. At the same time, she provides new perspectives on anonymous texts, among them The Thre Prestis of Peblis and King Hart, and on the works of less well known writers such as John Bellenden and William Stewart, which are crucial to our understanding of the literary culture north of the Border during the period under discussion.
’Joanna Martin's Kingship and Love in Scottish Poetry, 1424-1540 is a much needed book in the field of medieval and early modern Scottish studies. She offers an excellent historically-informed study of over a century of Scottish poetry relating to love (if not necessarily love poetry), some of which has received little critical attention so far. ... This book is addressed to both university students and academics. It should be read not only by medievalists and early modernists working on Scottish culture, but also by those working on European culture as a whole.’ Renaissance Quarterly ’This is a compact, clear, and intelligent book. It makes an important contribution to Older Scots literary studies through its compelling line of argument and for the attentive depth with which it approaches these poems both individually and in association with each other. ...this is an extremely impressive first book by an exceptionally promising young scholar.’ Review of Scottish Culture ’This is a deeply scholarly work, elegantly written, highly informative, and an important contribution to the study of late-medieval Scottish literature.’ Arthuriana 'Martin's valuable awareness of texts as complex and circulated objects produces many of her most enlightening readings, including her appreciation of the manuscript context of The Quare of Jelusy and her habitual, studious attention to a reader's gloss or a printer's device. These readings enliven a well-researched book that presents an important body of texts as politically self-conscious and conscious of the political self.' Speculum