Is Anonymity In George Gascoigne's A Hundred Sundry Flowers

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George Gascoigne publishes A Hundred Sundry Flowers, as a collection of various works by unnamed authors, while in fact being his stories. One of his stories, The Adventures of Master F.J., gains quick recognition because it is the tale of an anonymous man who falls in love with an elite married woman. While it may seem like an insider’s view of the events taking place among the higher classes, it remains a fictional story. However, because A Hundred Sundry Flowers is later banned, it demonstrates its similarity to non-fiction. Regardless of Gascoigne’s intentions of editing the story into a conventional manner in the following years; his initial publication suggest to readers the gossip-like qualities of his story are meant to attract readers.…show more content…
Before the story begins, Gascoigne further emphasizes the anonymity of the author. In fact, he uses the subtitle “The Printer to the Reader” to highlight a third party, a mediator between the author and the reader: the printer (Gascoigne 103). The person who prints the story, is essentially the narrator of the story, as he states he “take[s] in hand the imprinting of this poetical posy” (103). Meaning, the story being told is not created by him but by someone else. At the same time, by being a third party, the narrator can write as they seem fit, copying or repeating what they’ve been told of the story. He even points out he “neither ha[s] […] any other name of the [poesy], but such short notes as the authors themselves have delivered; thereby; if you can guess them, it shall no way offend me,” (126). Therefore, he does not hold himself responsible as the author of the story, pointing out his sources as the creators. The narrator goes so far as to invite the readers to guess who those sources are, suggesting them to be real people. As a narrator who attempts to repeat the story being told, it suggests an unreliability. Yet, the reader is expected to view the story as truthful as possible because of the sources the narrator
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