'John Stevens has opened up a virtually new field, not simply by his study of the musical and literary texts ... but also by his original inquiry into the relationship between their words and music; the social meaning of the courtly lyric; and the state of music and musicians in the society of the period. Enriched with the fullest references and scholarly apparatus, it is a deeply interesting book, lucidly written, on a subject new to nearly all of us.' Musical Times
'Dr Stevens' work is of permanent importance to literary and historical scholarship; it transcends the boundaries of musicology as narrowly understood. It is a fine achievement.' Medium Aevum
John Stevens' book examines the complex interplay between lyrical and musical compositions in the courts of Henry VII and VIII. He examines late medieval ideas about music and poetry and the impact of the Reformation on them, and uses the social information about music and musicians to interpret the evidence of the early Tudor songbooks.