Presbyterian Imitation Practices in Zachary Boyd’s Nebuchadnezzars Fierie Furnace
207 - 219
The Seventeenth Century
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The university administrator, preacher and poet Zachary Boyd (1585–1653) relied heavily on epithets and similes borrowed from Josuah Sylvester's poetry when composing his scriptural versifications Zion's Flowers(c. 1640?). The composition of Boyd's adaptation of Daniel 3, Nebuchadnezzars Fierie Furnace, provides an unusually lucid example of the reading and imitation practices of a mid-seventeenth-century Scottish Presbyterian in the years preceding civil war. This article begins by re-considering a manuscript transcription of Fierie Furnace held at the British Library previously described as an anonymous playtext from the early 1610s, then establishes the nature of Boyd's reliance on Sylvester by analyzing holograph manuscripts held at Glasgow University Library, a sermon Boyd wrote on the same theme, and the copy of Sylvester's Devine Weekes, and Workes that Boyd probably used.