The intention of this anthology is to present a full and evenly balanced selection of the poetry of the Stewart court, making available much that has been unfairly neglected but allowing poems which have often been abstracted from their context by modern anthologists to be read in their proper setting. The book is in two parts. First is a commentary of nine chapters describing the Bannatyne Manuscript, a large collection of Scottish poetry compiled in Edinburgh in 1568. The commentary seeks to establish the importance of the Manuscript as a comprehensive and deliberately interpretative anthology of medieval and renaissance Scottish poetry, arguing that modern editors are too frequently guided by their own critical preoccupations and that George Bannatyne chose and arranged his anthology in such a way as to present a conspectus of the five medieval and renaissance uses of poetry. The second part of the book is an anthology of some 17,000 lines of poetry chosen from the Bannatyne Manuscript. It retains Bannatyne's arrangement into five parts and, within those parts, his order. Many of the poems are of the highest quality by any criteria ofjudgment, but the selection has not been made at the expense of poems which were clearly more highly valued by Bannatyne than they would be now.