Middle English Literature / Edition 1

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This history restores Middle English literature to the rich culture that produced it by means of five unusual categories (technology, insurgency, statecraft, place, and jurisdiction). It also uses these categories to show how this literature was remarkably effective, able to shape this larger culture in its turn.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Christopher Cannon's latest book makes one fall in love with Middle English literature all over again ... a book that - I am convinced - will endure as one of the most cogent, sophisticated, and delightful introductions to English medieval literary history."

"This is a scintillating cultural history of Middle English literature, punctuated throughout with critical insights ... Cannon's succinct and vivid style allows him to introduce striking bits of philosophical or cultural theory alongside descriptions of crucial technological innovations ... equipped with its bibliographical guides and timeline, Medieval English Literature achieves the enviable aim of providing the student with both a cultural history and plenty of original literary commentary."
Medium Auvum

"Following in the distinguished footsteps of Derek Pearsall and James Simpson, Christopher Cannon offers an exhilarating grand tour of Middle English literature. Cannon’s writing is not just efficient but also elegant and pithy. His aphorisms condense knotty arguments and enact complex critical positions with unusual poise and insight. But underpinning his approach throughout is a philologist’s ability to listen attentively to the voices of the pages, to display what Nietzsche called 'the leisurely art of the goldsmith applied to language'."

Vincent Gillespie, University of Oxford

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745624426
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Series: PCHL-Polity Cultural History of Literature Series , #26
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,338,582
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Cannon, Fellow of Girton College and University Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge
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Table of Contents


1. Technology.




2. Insurgency.



The Rise of English.

3. Statecraft.




4. Place.

The Schoolroom.

Religious Communities.

The Household.

Cities and Towns.

The Way or the Street.

5. Jurisdiction.

The Church.


The Aesthetic.

Resources for Research.


Works Cited.

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