Encyclopedia Of Medieval Literature

Overview

Often misleadingly called the Dark Ages, the period between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance was a time of great creativity. The Middle Ages gave rise to some of the world's most enduring and influential literary works, including Dante's Commedia, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and a large body of Arthurian lore and legend. This reference is a comprehensive guide to literature written between 500 and 1500. While the volume is primarily devoted to the early literature of England, it also includes entries for ...

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Overview

Often misleadingly called the Dark Ages, the period between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance was a time of great creativity. The Middle Ages gave rise to some of the world's most enduring and influential literary works, including Dante's Commedia, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and a large body of Arthurian lore and legend. This reference is a comprehensive guide to literature written between 500 and 1500. While the volume is primarily devoted to the early literature of England, it also includes entries for historical persons and subjects of cultural relevance which would have been discussed in literary works or which might have affected their creation. Multicultural in scope, the book also covers Islamic, Hispanic, Celtic, Mongolian, Germanic, Italian, and Russian literature and culture of the Middle Ages.

Longer entries provide thorough coverage of major English authors such as Chaucer and Malory, and of entire genres, such as drama, lyric, ballad, debate, saga, chronicle, and hagiography. Shorter entries examine particular literary works; significant kings, artists, explorers, and religious leaders; important themes, such as courtly love and chivalry; and major historical events, such as the Crusades. The entries are written by scholars and each entry concludes with a brief bibliography. The volume closes with a list of the most valuable general works for further reading.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This massive work fills a gap between encyclopedias of the Middle Ages that focus on history more than on literature and encyclopedias of specific medieval literatures. Entries include mini-articles on literary types such as Debate Poetry, Medieval European (a 16-page entry that includes the British Isles); linguistic or national bodies of literature such as Hispanic Medieval Literature (which needs a Spanish cross reference); and concepts like Festivals and Holidays. Entries are also included for a wide variety of authors, works of literature, and people who influenced the literature (e.g., St. Francis of Assisi). There are even entries for Islamic literature and for Korean literature but none for Chinese or Indian literature. The volume has other curious omissions: there is no entry for Piers the Plowman, though the Langland, William entry indicates a cross reference, and no Purity entry, though Sir Gawain and the Green Knight refers to one; and while dream-vision is cross-referenced (in Langland ), the actual reference is Dream Allegory (Vision). Despite these minor flaws, this is a monumental work of scholarship with 523 well-written entries, each supplemented by a well-chosen bibliography as well as a general bibliography. Essential for academic libraries, this should be considered by public libraries as well. Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
The Encyclopedia Of Medieval Literature is a superbly presended reference providing a comprehensive guide to literature written between 500 and 1500, examining the early works of England and the individuals which may have affected or participated in their creation. The literature of Islam, Russia and nearby areas are also covered, with entries including historical, literary and biographical data. An excellent college-level reference for students of medieval writing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313300547
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/30/2000
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT THOMAS LAMBDIN is Assistant Professor of English in the Provisional Year Program of the College of Applied Professional Sciences, University of South Carolina.

LAURA COONER LAMBDIN teaches Professional Communications in the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Alphabetical Entries

General Bibliography

Index

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