The Psalms in English, 1530-1633

Edited by Hannibal Hamlin

Tudor and Stuart Translations 19

Modern Humanities Research Association

  Summer 2024

ISBN: 978-1-781880-96-8 (hardback)  •  RRP £44.99, $61.99, €53.99

ISBN: 978-1-781880-97-5 (paperback)  •  RRP £24.99, $34.99, €29.99

ISBN: 978-1-839546-28-0 (JSTOR ebook)


Translations of the Psalms were a major feature of early modern English literature. Yet this vast body of translation work has never before been presented as such, or in such depth. This collection brings together over a century of English biblical translation, by a host of translators from across English (and Scottish) society, offering a new understanding of the importance of the Psalms to early modern literature.

The translations are taken from both print and manuscript sources, and include translations in both prose and verse – from the prose versions included in all the major English Bibles to Psalms in lyric verse intended for private devotion or godly entertainment. The metrical Psalms range from common meter versions by Sternhold and Hopkins and their imitators, to sophisticated lyric verse by Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Philip and Mary Sidney, John Donne, and Thomas Carew.

Other poets include John Milton, George Herbert, and Richard Crashaw, here seen in a new light in the context of similar work by their contemporaries. The collection includes verse translations by others not primarily known for their poetry, such as Francis Bacon, Joseph Hall, and Simon Forman. Other translators include Katherine Parr, Anne Askew, Arthur Golding, King James VI and I, Anne Blount, Henry Wotton, and many more, both Protestant and Catholic, including many whose work has never before been printed.

The volume contains a detailed introduction discussing, among other aspects, the history of biblical translation, the background to and origin of the Psalms, the types of translation, and the music translations were set to. The edition also contains explanatory and textual notes and an extensive glossary. An essential collection for all scholars and students of literature and religion in early modern England.

Bibliography entry:

Hamlin, Hannibal (ed.), The Psalms in English, 1530-1633, Tudor and Stuart Translations, 19 (MHRA, 2024)

First footnote reference: 35 The Psalms in English, 1530-1633, ed. by Hannibal Hamlin, Tudor and Stuart Translations, 19 (MHRA, 2024), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Hamlin, p. 47.

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

Bibliography entry:

Hamlin, Hannibal (ed.). 2024. The Psalms in English, 1530-1633, Tudor and Stuart Translations, 19 (MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Hamlin 2024: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Hamlin 2024: 21.

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

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