This brief chapter attempts to recall to the reader what has gone before, and to convey the ‘excitement, surprise and enjoyment’ that is to be found in the study of the Burley manuscript. At the outset, the author had three tasks whose successful accomplishment was then problematic: an historical and analytical description of the manuscript, an annotated edition of the English private letters, and another of the English verse. The detective work on the collection itself, on the compiler, William Parkhurst, and his fellow-scribes, and on the individual letters and poems has revealed some things that were generally unknown. Among the English verse, although some of the identifiable poems have been found to contribute something to our understanding of the poem, the poet, or the scribe, a great source of joy is the quality of some of the anonymous verse. Similarly with the letters: much excitement lies in what seem to be first-hand copies of the correspondence of Donne, Wotton and Goodere, but much delight, too, from the anonymous or guessed-at authors of the other letters. ..
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