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‘Kingis Quair’

‘Kingis Quair’. A poem now generally accepted to have been written by James I of Scotland following his return from imprisonment in England (1424), perhaps in the mid-1430s. Written in Scots, with English influences, it is an autobiographical account of the king's incarceration, his love for his future queen, and their eventual marriage. This is linked to an allegorical account of the king's journey from ignorance to reason, through meetings with Minerva, Venus, and Fortune. Skilfully written, and influenced by Chaucer, Gower, and Boethius, the poem gives a fascinating insight into a different side of an often ruthless king.

Roland Tanner

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