Devonshire MS

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The Devonshire MS (British Library, MS Add. 17492) is a verse miscellany from the 1530s and early 1540s, compiled by three women who attended the court of Anne Boleyn: Mary Shelton, Mary Fitzroy (née Howard), and Lady Margaret Douglas. Although the manuscript contains a number of original compositions, transcriptions, fragments and extracts of verse (including some from the medieval poets Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Hoccleve, and Richard Roos), the majority of the verses recorded are those composed by Sir Thomas Wyatt, of which many are unique to the manuscript. As such, it is not only an important witness in the Canon of Wyatt's poetry, but also an artifact that reveals much about the role of women in literary production and manuscript circulation in the early Tudor period.

General Introduction from the Devonshire Manuscript Wikibooks project


Harrier, Richard. The Canon of Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Poetry (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975).

Heale, Elizabeth. "Women and the Courtly Love Lyric: The Devonshire MS (BL Additional 17492)," Modern Language Review 90.2 (1995): 296-313.

Remley, Paul G. “Mary Shelton and Her Tudor Literary Milieu.” Rethinking the Henrician Era: Essays on Early Tudor Texts and Contexts. Ed. Peter C. Herman (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 40-77.

Southall, Raymond. “The Devonshire Manuscript Collection of Early Tudor Poetry, 1532–41,” Review of English Studies, n.s. 15 (1964): 142-50.