Thomas May, Lucan's Pharsalia (1627)

Edited by Emma Buckley and Edward Paleit

Tudor and Stuart Translations 18

Modern Humanities Research Association

  7 December 2020

ISBN: 978-1-781889-95-4 (hardback)  •  RRP £34.99, $44.99, €39.99

ISBN: 978-1-781880-08-1 (paperback)  •  RRP £20, $27, €25

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EnglishTranslation


Lauded after his death as ‘champion of the English Commonwealth’, but also derided as a ‘most servile wit, and mercenary pen’, the poet, dramatist and historian Thomas May (c.1595–1650) produced the first full translation into English of Lucan’s Bellum Ciuile shortly before a ruinous civil war engulfed his own country. Lucan, whose epic had lamented the Roman Republic’s doomed struggle to preserve liberty and inevitable enslavement to the Caesars, and who was forced to commit suicide at the behest of the emperor Nero, was a figure of fascination in early modern Europe. May’s accomplished rendition of his challenging poem marked an important moment in the history of its English reception.

This is a modernized edition of the first complete (1627) edition of the translation. It includes prefatory materials, dedications and May’s own historical notes on the text. Besides an introduction contextualising May’s life and work and the key features of his translation, it offers a full commentary to the text highlighting how May responded to contemporary editions and commentaries on Lucan, and explaining points of literary, political, philosophical interest. There is also a detailed glossary and bibliography, and a set of textual notes enumerating the chief differences between the 1627 edition and the others produced in May’s lifetime. This volume aims not just to provide an accessible path into the dense, sometimes provocative poem May shapes from Lucan, but also a broader appreciation of the translator’s literary merits and the role his work plays in the history of the English reception of Roman literature and culture.

Contents:

vii-viii
Acknowledgements
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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1-28
Introduction
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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29-31
Further Reading
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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31-32
Abbreviations
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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33-35
Note On Editorial Practice
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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36-36
Frontispiece Verses
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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38-39
Dedication To William, Earl of Devonshire
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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40-42
The Life of Marcus Annaeus Lucanus
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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43-43
Dedicatory Poem: Ben Jonson To Thomas May
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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44-44
Dedicatory Poem: H. V. to Thomas May
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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45-46
Dedicatory Poem: J. Vaughan to Thomas May
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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47-82
LUCAN’S Pharsalia: The First Book
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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83-115
LUCAN’S Pharsalia: The Second Book
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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116-147
LUCAN’S Pharsalia: The Third Book
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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148-181
LUCAN’S Pharsalia: The Fourth Book
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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182-218
LUCAN’S Pharsalia: The Fifth Book
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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219-254
LUCAN’S Pharsalia: The Sixth Book
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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255-292
LUCAN’S Pharsalia: The Seventh Book
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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293-333
LUCAN’S Pharsalia: The Eighth Book
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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334-377
LUCAN’S Pharsalia: The Ninth Book
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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378-404
LUCAN’S Pharsalia: The Tenth Book
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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405-405
Appendix A: Giovanni Sulpizio’s Continuation
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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406-419
Textual Notes
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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420-440
Glossary: Most Important Names and Places
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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441-449
Bibliography
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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450-452
Index
Emma Buckley, Edward Paleit
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Bibliography entry:

Buckley, Emma, and Edward Paleit (eds), Thomas May, Lucan's Pharsalia (1627), Tudor and Stuart Translations, 18 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2020)

First footnote reference: 35 Thomas May, Lucan's Pharsalia (1627), ed. by Emma Buckley and Edward Paleit, Tudor and Stuart Translations, 18 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2020), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Buckley and Paleit, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Buckley, Emma, and Edward Paleit (eds). 2020. Thomas May, Lucan's Pharsalia (1627), Tudor and Stuart Translations, 18 (Cambridge: MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Buckley and Paleit 2020: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Buckley and Paleit 2020: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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