Panofsky, Richard J., ed. The Floures of Philosophie (1572) by Hugh Platt and A Sweet Nosgay (1573) and the Copy of a Letter (1567) by Isabella Whitney. Delmar, New York: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1982.
Plat's Floures -- Senecan proverbs, "derives from the complex manuscript tradition of the Proverbia Senecae, which inclues material from Publilius Syrus the mime, St. Marten of Braga, and such pseudo-SEnecan works as the Liber de moribus" (vii) -- see J. L. Heller, Classical Weekly 36 (1942-3): 151-2.
Whitney follows his first 97 sentences closely; then begins to group related sayings together (see table on x)
- "Plat's allegory of these customs in part teases the customer to buy his book and in part asserts for the reader a moral exercise. His amorous readers will stumble, here and there, across anti-love sententiae and so will make unexpected discovery of truths. The miscellaneous ordering creates such opportunities: as the readers imitate bees in tasting now this and now that particular flower, they are prepared for the sudden personal application of a truism or an example. They are also asked to play a game, to spend time in the profitable exercise of perception and discovery. Thus Plat's and other collections of moral sentences can claim at least indirect kinship with such game-books as The Book of Fortune and Wit's labyrinth, or, the exercise of idleness." (xi)
- "The ideas and literary techniques in A Sweet Nosegay are by no means original. Its style of exaggerated complaint, with stock literary and Biblical references and a vocabulary of emotional extremes, is familiar to all readers of middle-Elizabethan poetry. The book is original, rather, in its application of life to literary convention and in its energetic fortune." (xiii)
1570s, poets trying out different forms of narrative sequencing -- Turberville Epitaphs (1567), Gascoigne's Hundreth sundry flowers (1573), The Rock of Regard (1576), Nicholas Breton's Small Handful of Fragrant Flowers (1575)
- "CAn Whitney be made out t be an Elizabethan feminist? ... In all, my sense is that Whitney wished to claim no special identity as a woman author, but that her sex was one fact among others in this very personal work." (xix)
Jones also printed Symon's "A pleasnt Poesie" (xx)