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Tudor AutobiographyListening for Inwardness$
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Meredith Anne Skura

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226761879

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226761886.001.0001

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Autobiography: History or Fiction?: William Baldwin Writing History “under the Shadow of Dreames and Visions” in A Mirror for Magistrates (1559)

Autobiography: History or Fiction?: William Baldwin Writing History “under the Shadow of Dreames and Visions” in A Mirror for Magistrates (1559)

Chapter:
(p.73) Chapter 4 Autobiography: History or Fiction?: William Baldwin Writing History “under the Shadow of Dreames and Visions” in A Mirror for Magistrates (1559)
Source:
Tudor Autobiography
Author(s):

Meredith Anne Skura

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226761886.003.0004

This chapter moves from arguments about literary and discursive convention to debates about the place, if any, of fiction in autobiography. One of the most important unrecognized texts in the history of autobiography is William Baldwin's A Mirror for Magistrates (1559). Mirror, a collection of first-person fictional monologues by “ghosts” of fallen English princes, is framed by Baldwin's own first-person tongue-in-cheek account of how he and his coauthors composed the monologues. Mirror's unique combination throughout of outward-looking history and inward-looking “poesie,” rather than disqualifying it for a place in the history of autobiography, inspired later autobiographical writing by both its contributors and its readers.

Keywords:   fiction, autobiography, William Baldwin, A Mirror for Magistrates, fictional monologues, English princes, autobiographical writing

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