Documentary Culture and the Making of Medieval English Literature

Documentary Culture and the Making of Medieval English Literature

by Emily Steiner
     
 

Emily Steiner describes the rich intersection between legal documents and English literature in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The literature of this period, from Passion lyrics to Lollard sermons, abounds in documentary language and metaphors. Steiner argues that documentary culture (including charters, testaments, patents, and seals) enabled writers to… See more details below

Overview

Emily Steiner describes the rich intersection between legal documents and English literature in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The literature of this period, from Passion lyrics to Lollard sermons, abounds in documentary language and metaphors. Steiner argues that documentary culture (including charters, testaments, patents, and seals) enabled writers to think in new ways about the conditions of textual production in late medieval England. She explains that the distinctive rhetoric, material forms, and ritual performance of legal documents offered writers of Chaucer's generation and the generation succeeding him a model of literary practice. Covering a wide variety of medieval texts: sermons, lyrics, Piers Plowman, Mum and the Sothsegger, The Book of Margery Kempe, heretical writings, and trial records - this study will be of interest to scholars of medieval literary studies and medieval studies in general.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521110532
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
05/07/2009
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature Series, #50
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,071,003
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
List of illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1Bracton, Deguileville, and the defense of allegory17
2Lyric, genre, and the material text47
3Piers Plowman and the archive of salvation93
4Writing public: Documents in the Piers Plowman tradition143
5Lollard community and the Charters of Christ193
6Lollard rhetoric and the written record: Margery Baxter and William Thorpe229
Epilogue: "My lordys lettyr & the seel of Cawntyrbery"240
Bibliography247
Index263

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