False Fables and Exemplary Truth in Later Middle English Literature (New Middle Ages Series)

Overview

This study charts relationships between moral claims and audience response in medieval exemplary works by such poets as Chaucer, Gower, Robert Henryson, and several anonymous scribes. In late medieval England, exemplary works make one of the strongest possible claims for the social value of poetic fiction. Studying this debate reveals a set of local literary histories, based on both canonical and non-canonical texts, that complicate received notions of the didactic Middle Ages, the sophisticated Renaissance, and ...

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Overview

This study charts relationships between moral claims and audience response in medieval exemplary works by such poets as Chaucer, Gower, Robert Henryson, and several anonymous scribes. In late medieval England, exemplary works make one of the strongest possible claims for the social value of poetic fiction. Studying this debate reveals a set of local literary histories, based on both canonical and non-canonical texts, that complicate received notions of the didactic Middle Ages, the sophisticated Renaissance, and the fallow fifteenth century in between.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

" Elizabeth Allen makes a compelling case for medieval reading as a dynamic, ethical activity. Arguing that exemplary stories elicited responses that required “ongoing adjustments to the contingencies of political (as well as social and literary) occasion,” she deftly analyzes the cultural function of medieval narrative. False Fables and Exemplary Truth is a sophisticated and thoughtful book that refines the subject of late medieval exemplarity in important and insightful ways. It will become required reading for every scholar interested in this crucial subject."--Rebecca Krug, University of Minnesota

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403967978
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/20/2005
  • Series: New Middle Ages Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Allen is Assistant Professor of English, University of California-Irvine.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : toward a poetics of exemplarity 1
2 Anticipating audience in The book of the knight of the tower 27
3 The costs of exemplary history in the Confessio Amantis 53
4 Framing narrative in Chaucer and Lydgate 83
5 The pardoner in the "dogges boure" : early reception of the Canterbury tales 111
6 Memory and recognition in Henryson's Testament of Cresseid 133
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