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The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature

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Overview

This is the first fullscale history of medieval English literature for nearly a century. Thirty-three distinguished contributors provide information on a vast range of literary texts and the conditions of their production and reception, and the volume also contains a chronology, full bibliography and a detailed index. This book offers the most extensive and vibrant account available of the medieval literatures so drastically reconfigured in Tudor England. It will thus prove essential reading for scholars of the Renaissance as well as medievalists, for historians as well as literary specialists.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[T]heatre researchers are likely to find many of the...essays very useful and illuminating because the cultural history they depict has obvious implications for the study of theatre and performance." Sharon Aronson-Lehavi, City University of New York, Theatre Journal

"The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature provides a formidable set of tools for the critic of medieval literature....The unobtrusive editorial presence that allows chapters with widely diverging approaches is a useful and mature reflection of the accomodation of plurality for an intelligent reading of medieval literature....This is a scholarly and erudite publication." Times Literary Supplement

"The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature is an excellent and long overdue reassessment, which completes a paradigm shift in the study of English medieval literature. It synthesises and responds to developments in the field over the last twenty years, and forges them into a coherent whole. A pioneering work in the field of medieval studies, it is also a fascinating and highly rewarding reading experience, that should be shared by everyone in the discipline." Prof. Joerg Fichte, Tübingen University

"Recommended for all collections supporting medieval studies at the upper-division undergraduate level and above." Choice

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Product Details

Meet the Author

David Wallace is the Judith Rodin Professor of English Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Chaucerian Polity: Absolutist Lineages and Associational Forms in England and Italy (1997); Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron (1991); Chaucer and the early writings of Boccaccio (1985); Bodies and Disciplines: Intersections of Literature and History in Fifteenth-Century England (ed. with Barbara A Hanawalt).

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Table of Contents

List of contributors
General preface
Acknowledgments
List of abbreviations
I After the Norman Conquest
1 Old English and its afterlife 7
2 Anglo-Norman cultures in England, 1066-1460 35
3 Early Middle English 61
4 National, world and women's history: writers and readers in post-Conquest England 92
5 Latinitas 122
6 Romance in England, 1066-1400 152
II Writing in the British Isles
7 Writing in Wales 182
8 Writing in Ireland 208
9 Writing in Scotland, 1058-1560 229
10 Writing history in England 255
11 London texts and literate practice 284
III Institutional Productions
12 Monastic productions 316
13 The friars and medieval English literature 349
14 Classroom and confession 376
15 Medieval literature and law 407
16 Vox populi and the literature of 1381 432
17 Englishing the Bible, 1066-1549 454
IV After the Black Death
18 Alliterative poetry 488
19 Piers Plowman 513
20 The Middle English mystics 539
21 Geoffrey Chaucer 566
22 John Gower 589
23 Middle English lives 610
V Before the Reformation
24 Hoccleve, Lydgate and the Lancastrian court 640
25 Lollardy 662
26 Romance after 1400 690
27 William Caxton 720
28 English drama: from ungodly ludi to sacred play 739
29 The allegorical theatre: moralities, interludes and Protestant drama 767
30 The experience of exclusion: literature and politics in the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII 793
31 Reformed literature and literature reformed 821
Chronological outline of historical events and texts in Britain, 1050-1550 852
Bibliography 881
Index of manuscripts 991
Index 994
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