Judith Man, An Epitome of the History of Faire Argenis and Polyarchus

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John Barclay’s best known work and bestseller in its day,


, a heroic roman à clef, was published posthumously in 1621. “A long romance of some 400 pages”, the Latin text


“deals with the relationship between Argenis, daughter of the good king, Meleander, and Poliarchus, a young knight who helps Meleander, the legitimate king, defeat the rebellion inaugurated by the duplicitous Lycogenes” (Hadfield 197). In the seventeenth century, Barclay’s


was considered an important political statement in its “critical account of the affairs of France during the epoch of the religious wars, put into the oblique form of a heroic romance” (Baker 18). However, in this intricately complex allegory, Barclay “leaves the real incidence of many episodes, and even the…

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Citation: Magrino, William. "An Epitome of the History of Faire Argenis and Polyarchus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 February 2009; last revised 15 April 2009. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=25842, accessed 13 April 2024.]

25842 An Epitome of the History of Faire Argenis and Polyarchus 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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