The impact of the Union of the Crowns on Scottish lyric poetry, 1584-1619
This thesis examines the impact on Scottish lyric poetry of the Union of the Crowns in 1603 by making a detailed analysis of the separate Scottish and English literary traditions before 1603, highlighting the peculiar features which identify national traits. In the course of this analysis it is seen that English influence on the themes and topoi of Scottish writing is not particularly marked, although a drive towards English orthography is seen in printed works of the 1580s and thereafter increasingly in original Scottish writing. Following the Union of the Crowns, the lyric products of the united kingdoms are analysed by 'school' in order to determine how much of the distinctively Scottish voice that had been previously identified is still detectable. The accepted view is that Scottish poetry simply disappeared by a process of attrition as Scottish poets found they could not compete with their English contemporaries, but it is my contention that even where Scottish poets deliberately adapted their writing to the styles of English groupings of poets, they maintained a strongly individual Scottish voice. The Scottish poetical traditions and themes continue well into the seventeenth century and beyond the scope of this thesis, maintained through the habitual practice of keeping manuscript collections and commonplace books.