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John Dowland In His Own Words

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The Lute Appendix iv

Assembled while researching my articles on John Dowland for this series, which begin here.

I found that taking time to put these pages together helped me to read what Dowland wrote more closely.

These surviving texts are found mostly in the prefatory material to Dowland’s own publications. I have not changed or modernized Dowland’s spelling or otherwise attempted to make any of this more clear – they are as much as possible, literally “his own words” as he chose to order and spell them. The texts are ordered chronologically.

Of course, a lot about Dowland’s attitude and personality may also be gleaned from the texts of his songs, at least some of which he likely wrote himself…


iv a ~ November 10, 1595

letter from John Dowland to Sir Robert Cecil

read David Pinto’s excellent critical hypertext edition here


iv b ~ 1597

The First Booke of Songes or Ayres

prefatory matter

(dedication, “To the courteous Reader”)


iv c ~ 1600

The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres



iv d ~ 1603

The Third and Last Booke of Songs or Aires

prefatory matter

(dedication, “The Epistle to the Reader”)


iv e ~ 1604

Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares

prefatory matter

(dedication, “To the Reader.”)


iv f ~ 1609

Andreas Ornithoparvs His Micrologvs

prefatory matter

(dedication, “To the Reader.”)


iv g ~ 1610

A Varietie of Lute Lessons

Other Necessary Obseruations belonging to the Lute

(in preparation)


iv h ~ 1612

A Pilgrimes Solace

dedication and preface

(in preparation)



*       *       *

The Lute:

I ~ Meet the Lute

II ~ Francesco da Milano

III ~ The Medieval Lute

IV ~ Petrarch’s Lyre

V ~ Renaissance Lute

VI ~ Baroque Lute (coming soon)

VII ~ Ottaviano Petrucci and the First Printed Lute Books

VIII ~ The Frottolists and the First Lute Songbooks

IX ~ The Capirola Lute Book

X ~ Music Printer to the King: Pierre Attaingnant

XI ~ Attaingnant’s Lute Books

XII ~ The Lute at the Court of Henry VIII

XIII ~ The Golden Age of English Lute Music

XIV ~ “To Attain So Excellent A Science”: John Dowland, Part I

XV ~ “I Desired To Get Beyond The Seas”: John Dowland, Part II

XVI ~ “An Earnest Desire To Satisfie All”: John Dowland, Part III (coming soon)

XVII ~ Simone Molinaro


XVIII ~ Diana Poulton



i ~ The Lute: A Bibliography

ii ~ The Lute: A Discography

iii ~ Lute Recordings:

       a ~ Dowland on CD: A Survey of the Solo Lute Recordings: Part I

       b ~ Dowland on CD: A Survey of the Solo Lute Recordings: Part II

       c ~ Bach on the Lute: 70 Years of Recordings, Part I

      d ~ Bach on the Lute: 70 Years of Recordings, Part II (coming soon)

iv ~ John Dowland In His Own Words

v ~ The Lute Society of America Summer Seminar West, 1996




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