Born in the last years of James III's reign, Sir David Lyndsay (c.1486-1555) served under James IV, James V, and Mary. As a writer, Lyndsay is best known today for his play, "Ane Satyre of The Thrie Estaitis", a biting and comic commentary on Church and State that is still regularly performed today. But it was Lyndsay's other works, of which this volume offers an accessible selection, that made him the best known Scottish poet of the time. In the late sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a literate household in Scotland was likely to own two books: the "Bible" and the poems of Sir David Lyndsay. Today, while a performance of "Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis" can still draw the crowds, very little is known about the rest of Lyndsay's work. This new volume from ASLS is designed to introduce some of Lyndsay's best poems to a new audience. Lyndsay's greatest strength is his range and diversity, from comic verse to political satire to spiritual reflection. These are the features that made Lyndsay a popular writer in his own time; explored again, he might well regain that status in ours.
Dr Williams has planned the Selected Poems to introduce these works both to new readers, for whom there are on-the-page annotations and references, and to specialists, who will wish to work with freshly-established texts. The explanatory notes illustrate the richness of Lyndsay's language and those contemporary references now less known. An Introduction provides biographical information and discusses important features of Lyndsay's poetry, and a full Bibliography offers further support for scholars. Dr Hadley Williams is a Visiting Fellow in English and Theatre Studies at the Australian National University. She is editor of "Stewart Style 1513-1542: Essays on the Court of James V (1996)".