c.1425–c.1506, Scottish poet. It is thought that he was a schoolmaster at Dunfermline Abbey. His principal poem is The Testament of Cresseid,
which was written as a harshly moral epilogue to Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde.
In Henryson's version the heroine dies a destitute leper. Partly because of this poem, Henryson has been called a Scottish Chaucerian. That his temper is more Scottish than Chaucerian is shown by the dry, macabre humor of such pieces as the Moral Fables of Æsop.
Other notable works include Orpheus and Eurydice
and Robene and Makyne.
See edition of his work by H. H. Wood (rev. ed. 1958, repr. 1968); study by J. MacQueen (1967).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature to 1499: Biographies