Background on Womanhod, Wanton, Ye Want!

Connected Background


Introduction and Background to

The first printed version of the poem dates from 1527 according to the STC (22611) and was printed by John Rastell (Freeman 411). The poem is also found in STC 22608 (Workes, ed. J. Stow, T. Marshe (1568)). The poem’s exact date of composition is unknown, yet Scattergood claims that the poem is almost certainly written before 1504, while Skelton was still in London (393). Kinsman argues that the poem was written at court before Skelton left for Diss, because it is written in rhyme royal, which Skelton employed in most of his known and dateable early efforts (Kinsman 105). Additionally, Kinsman argues that the reference to Mistress Anne and the dwelling at the Key in Thames Street are markers of the fact that Skelton is writing for a court familiar (105). The poem is an attack on ‘mastres Anne’ and can be seen as a satire directed against women.