A Prisoner’s Reflections (henceforth: Reflections) is a Boethian poem written in 1463 by former signet scribe George Ashby while he was incarcerated in the Fleet prison. Starting with a lament on his present unfortunate circumstances, Ashby reflects on his happier days in the past, only to proceed with a poetical lesson to help both himself and his readers reconcile themselves with their worldly fate. Only one copy of the poem is known to exist today, in Cambridge, Trinity College, MS R.3.19, a collection of fifteenth-century vernacular short lyrics as well as excerpts from larger poems such as John Lydgate’s Fall of Princes.
The poem’s author, George Ashby (c. 1385-1475), was scribe o…
Citation: Douma, Aline. "A Prisoner's Reflections". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 November 2020 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=39165, accessed 02 February 2023.]