Imagining a Medieval English Nation

Overview

During the late Middle Ages, the increasing expansion of a central government, together with the greater involvement of the commons in national life, brought England closer than ever to political nationhood. Examining a diverse array of texts -- ranging from Latin and vernacular historiography to Lollard tracts, Ricardian poetry, and chivalric treatises -- this volume reveals the variety of forms "England" assumed when it was imagined in the medieval West. These essays disrupt conventional thinking about the ...
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Overview

During the late Middle Ages, the increasing expansion of a central government, together with the greater involvement of the commons in national life, brought England closer than ever to political nationhood. Examining a diverse array of texts -- ranging from Latin and vernacular historiography to Lollard tracts, Ricardian poetry, and chivalric treatises -- this volume reveals the variety of forms "England" assumed when it was imagined in the medieval West. These essays disrupt conventional thinking about the relationship between premodernity and modernity, challenge preconceptions regarding the origins of the nation, and complicate theories about the workings of nationalism. This book is not only a collection of new readings of major canonical works by leading medievalists, it is among the first book-length analyses on the subject.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816637355
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 12/18/2003
  • Series: Medieval Cultures Series
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Pt. I Theorizing the Medieval English Nation
Pro Patria Mori 3
Pt. II The Languages of England
Latin England 41
"As Englishe is comoun langage to oure puple": The Lollards and The Lollards and Their Imagined "English" Community 96
Pt. III Chaucer's England
Chaucer Imagines England (in English) 131
Hymeneal Alogic: Debating Political Community in The Parliament of Fowls 161
Pt. IV Langland's England
King, Commons, and Kind Wit: Langland's National Vision and the Rising of 1381 191
Piers Plowman and the National Noetic of Edward III 234
Pt. V England and Its Neighbors
Translating "Communitas" 261
The Captivity of Henry Chrystede: Froissart's Chroniques, Ireland, and Fourteenth-Century Nationalism 304
Afterword: The Brutus Prologue to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 340
Contributors 347
Index 353
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