The Testament of Cresseid by Robert Henryson
Robert Henryson, “Schulemaister in Dunfermeling,” probably flourished in the second half of the fifteenth century. William Dunbar’s Lament for the Makaris, printed in 15O8, mourns his death. Gavin Douglas mentions him (c.1522) and so does Sir David Lyndesay (c.153O). Sir Francis Kinaston, in a Latin manuscript in which he translates Chaucer’s Troilus and Cresseid, (1639) tells us that he died “very old” and gives a doubtful and rather unsavoury account of his last moments of life. Henryson is best known for his Morall Fabillis of Esope the Phrygian, his Robene and Makyne and his Testament of Cresseid. There is no contemporary manuscript of the Testament. The two earliest extant printings are those of Thynne (1532) and Charteris (1593). The Charteris print is the better and is the basis of the modern editions of Bruce Dickins (1925) and H. Harvey Wood (1933).
Cover artwork by Adrian Phillips