Robert Henryson

(1708 words)
  • Karen Elaine Smyth (University of East Anglia)

Robert Henryson's poetry is well regarded as the finest example of the Chaucerian tradition to have been produced north of the border. As one of the central ‘makars' in the Scottish tradition (‘makar' denotes a skilled craftsmanship in the art of poetry), he holds renown alongside his fellow contemporaries William Dunbar, Robert Douglas, James I and David Lyndsay, and yet remarkably little is known about the man or his life. Henryson is best understood by focusing not on his life but on the literary traditions he contributed to and developed in his writings. Indeed, all that can be stated with certainty about his life is that the poet was a schoolmaster. His birth-date and birth-place are unknown. At one time it was suggested that …

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Smyth, Karen Elaine. "Robert Henryson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 January 2004
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]