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Companion to Medieval English Literature and Culture c.1350 - c.1500 / Edition 1

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Overview

A Companion to Medieval English Literature and Culture c.1350-c.1500 challenges readers to think beyond a narrowly defined canon and conventional disciplinary boundaries in a number of important ways.

Firstly, the companion's date range reflects the erosion of the traditional, rigid boundary between medieval and early modern literature. Secondly, the structure of the book stresses the importance of constructing contexts for reading literature. Thirdly, the companion explores the extent to which medieval literature is in dialogue with other cultural products, including the literature of other countries, manuscripts and religion.

Students will welcome the companion's close readings of frequently studied texts, together with its discussions of larger groupings, such as the literature of religious instruction, dream poems, and chronicle and history. They will also appreciate the way the book tackles controversies, including those connected with literary theory, love, chivalry and war.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Overall, this book, another one of Peter Brown's Herculean labors, is a true gift to medieval scholarship. A compendium of useful information and bibliographic references, it will be useful to a wide variety of medieval-ists, whether undergraduates, graduates, faculty, or independent scholars, formany years to come." (Modern Philology, 2 November 2011)

on“These thorough, engaging essays decertify many canonical certainties … Highly Recommended.” CHOICE

“Another grand project that combines breadth and depth … A highly eminent collection of thirty-eight contributions ranges over a variety of topics.”
Medium Aevum

"There is plenty here for everybody, and all of it written in a way accessible to the general reader as well as to the student, or fellow specialist."—Reference Reviews

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Peter Brown is Professor of Medieval English Literature at the University of Kent. His book publications include A Companion to Chaucer (Wiley-Blackwell, 2000), Reading Dreams: The Interpretation of Dreams from Chaucer to Shakespeare (1999), Chaucer at Work: The Making of the Canterbury Tales (1994) and, with Andrew Butcher, The Age of Saturn: Literature and History in the Canterbury Tales (1991).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Notes on Contributors x

Acknowledgements xv

Abbreviations xvi

Introduction 1

Part I Overviews 7

1 Critical Approaches David Raybin 9

2 English Society in the Later Middle Ages: Deference, Ambition and Conflict S. H. Rigby 25

3 Religious Authority and Dissent Mishtooni Bose 40

4 City and Country, Wealth and Labour Sarah Rees Jones 56

5 Women's Voices and Roles Carol M. Meale 74

Part II The Production and Reception of Texts 91

6 Manuscripts and Readers A. S. G. Edwards 93

7 From Manuscript to Modern Text Julia Boffey 107

8 Translation and Society Catherine Batt 123

Part III Language and Literature l4l

9 The Languages of Medieval Britain Laura Wright 143

10 The Forms of Speech Donka Minkova 159

11 The Forms of Verse Donka Minkova 176

Part IV Encounters with Other Cultures 197

12 England and France Ardis Butterfield 199

13 Britain and Italy: Trade, Travel, Translation Nick Havely 215

14 England's Antiquities: Middle English Literature and the Classical Past Christopher Baswell 231

15 Jews, Saracens, 'Black Men', Tartars: England in a World of Racial Difference Geraldine Heng 247

Part V Special Themes 271

16 War and Chivalry Richard W. Kaeuper Montgomery Bohna 273

17 Literature and Law Richard Firth Green 292

18 Images Peter Brown 307

19 Love Barry Windeatt 322

Part VI Genres 339

20 Middle English Romance Thomas Hahn Dana M. Symons 341

21 Writing Nation: Shaping Identity in Medieval Historical Narratives Raluca L. Radulescu 358

22 Dream Poems Helen Phillips 374

23 Lyric Rosemary Greentree 387

24 Literature of Religious Instruction E. A. Jones 406

25 Mystical and DevotionalLiterature Denise N. Baker 423

26 Accounts of Lives Kathleen Ashley 437

27 Medieval English Theatre: Codes and Genres Meg Twycross 454

28 Morality and Interlude Drama Darryll Grantley 473

Part VII Readings 489

29 York Mystery Plays Pamela King 491

30 The Book of Margery Kempe Ruth Evans 507

31 Julian of Norwich Santha Bhattacharji 522

32 Piers Plowman Stephen Kelly 537

33 Subjectivity and Ideology in the Canterbury Tales Mark Miller 554

34 John Gower and John Lydgate: Forms and Norms of Rhetorical Culture J. Allan Mitchell 569

35 Thomas Hoccleve, La Male Regle Nicholas Perkins 585

36 Discipline and Relaxation in the Poetry of Robert Henryson R. James Goldstein 604

37 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Kevin Gustafson 619

38 Blood and Love in Malory's Morte Darthur Catherine La Farge 634

Index 649

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