A Companion To Medieval English Literature and Culture by Peter Brown

By Peter Brown

A significant other to Medieval English Literature and tradition, c.1350-c.1500 demanding situations readers to imagine past a narrowly outlined canon and standard disciplinary obstacles.

A ground-breaking choice of newly-commissioned essays on medieval literature and culture.

  • Encourages scholars to imagine past a narrowly outlined canon and standard disciplinary boundaries.
  • Reflects the erosion of the normal, inflexible boundary among medieval and early sleek literature.
  • Stresses the significance of creating contexts for examining literature.
  • Explores the level to which medieval literature is in discussion with different cultural items, together with the literature of different nations, manuscripts and religion.
  • Includes shut readings of frequently-studied texts, together with texts by means of Chaucer, Langland, the Gawain poet, and Hoccleve.
  • Confronts a number of the controversies that workout scholars of medieval literature, resembling these hooked up with literary conception, love, and chivalry and war.

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Additional resources for A Companion To Medieval English Literature and Culture c.1350 - c.1500

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In his Pilgrimage of the Life of Man (1426), John Lydgate took for granted the absurdity of the idea that all people should be of one social condition. Such equality between rich and poor would 26 S. H. 2 Medieval authors had long presented the social hierarchy in terms of the three estates of the oratores, bellatores and laboratores (those who pray, those who fight and those who work) and this familiar model of society continued to be reproduced in the later Middle Ages. 3 Yet, in reality, the tripartite theory hardly provided an accurate picture of the contemporary social hierarchy.

4 The interest may relate to the fact that at the beginning of the twenty-first century such conditions are current; as Tony Hunt notes in comparing contemporary to medieval culture, ‘outside a few western societies with a strong sense of language identity and near-universal literacy, conditions which obviously did not obtain in medieval Britain, multilingualism is the norm’ (in Trotter 2000: 131). To think seriously about the multilingual character of late medieval Britain poses a vigorous challenge to the age-old assumption that the way linguistic things worked out was inevitable.

In the remainder of this chapter I will discuss some of the areas in which practical theorists address this hunger to historicize and some of the ways in which their efforts have advanced understanding of the late Middle Ages in England. 4 The interest may relate to the fact that at the beginning of the twenty-first century such conditions are current; as Tony Hunt notes in comparing contemporary to medieval culture, ‘outside a few western societies with a strong sense of language identity and near-universal literacy, conditions which obviously did not obtain in medieval Britain, multilingualism is the norm’ (in Trotter 2000: 131).

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