Item Details


The Kingis Quair: Together with A Ballad of Good Counsel: by King James I. of Scotland.


Printed for the Society by W. Blackwood and Sons & rebound in dark blue cloth with gilt titles to the spines; preceding the poem is a lengthy (55 pages) & erudite introduction by the editor. The Kingis Quair is a fifteenth-century poem attributed to James I of Scotland. It is semi-autobiographical in nature, describing the King's capture by the English in 1406 on his way to France and his subsequent 18 years imprisonment by Henry IV of England and his successors, Henry V and Henry VI. The poem also narrates how he fell in love one beautiful spring morning with an English noblewoman, Joan Beaufort. In a dream vision, we find out what King James learned about good and bad fortune from the goddess Minerva and from Fortune herself, and how he discovered the nature of true love. The poem was influenced by Chaucer’s dream visions, but also has its own whimsical charms & is a hidden gem of medieval poetry. Four versions of the Ballad of Good Counsel are given , from the earliest to the 'restored', the latter being founded upon collation of the other three. At the rear are extensive notes to the Kingis Quair & to the Good Counsel & these are followed by a glossarial index & remarks upon Jamieson's dictionary.