Writing to the King: Nation, Kingship and Literature in England, 1250-1350

Writing to the King: Nation, Kingship and Literature in England, 1250-1350

by David Matthews
     
 

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In the century before Chaucer a new language of political critique emerged. In political verse of the period, composed in Anglo-Latin, Anglo-Norman, and Middle English, poets write as if addressing the king himself, drawing on their sense of the rights granted by Magna Carta. These apparent appeals to the sovereign increase with the development of parliament in the

Overview

In the century before Chaucer a new language of political critique emerged. In political verse of the period, composed in Anglo-Latin, Anglo-Norman, and Middle English, poets write as if addressing the king himself, drawing on their sense of the rights granted by Magna Carta. These apparent appeals to the sovereign increase with the development of parliament in the late thirteenth century and the emergence of the common petition, and become prominent, in an increasingly sophisticated literature, during the political crises of the early fourteenth century. However, very little of this writing was truly directed to the king. As David Matthews shows, the form of address was a rhetorical stance revealing much about the position from which writers were composing, the audiences they wished to reach, and their construction of political and national subjects.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Writing to the King is a valuable contribution, challenging the usual periodizations, and constructing a coherent narrative of ideological development over the century, across some interesting writings which have hitherto suffered from relative neglect."
Laura Ashe, Medium Aevum

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781107412545
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/03/2013
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature Series, #77
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
238
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.47(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
'… this book is to be welcomed for its ambitious contribution to the history of political writing in the century before the great Ricardian poets.' The Review of English Studies

Meet the Author

David Matthews is Senior Lecturer in Middle English Literature and Culture at the University of Manchester.

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