Public Reading and the Reading Public in Late Medieval England and France

Public Reading and the Reading Public in Late Medieval England and France

ISBN-10:
0521673518
ISBN-13:
9780521673518
Pub. Date:
06/30/2005
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

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Overview

Public Reading and the Reading Public in Late Medieval England and France

For a long time scholars have generally shared the belief that late medieval authors - particularly in England and especially Chaucer - wrote for private readers. This book challenges that view and current orthodoxies in orality-literacy theory. It assembles and analyses in depth, for the first time, an overwhelming mass of evidence that in both Britain and France from the mid-fourteenth to the late-fifteenth century, literate, elite audiences continued to prefer public reading (aloud in groups) to private reading. This book offers the first sustained critique of Walter Ong's Orality and Literacy (1982), which has encouraged medievalists to underestimate the nature and role of late medieval public reading. Using an 'ethnographic' methodology, Joyce Coleman develops several schema from the data and applies them in analyses of texts including historical records, works by Chaucer and other writings into the late-fifteenth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521673518
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 06/30/2005
Series: Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature Series , #26
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. On beyond Ong: the bases of a revised theory of orality and literacy; 2. Taxonomies and terminology: the pursuit of disambiguity; 3. A review of the secondary literature; 4. The social context of medieval aurality: introductory generalisations from the data; 5. Aural history; 6. An 'ethnography of reading' in Chaucer; 7. An 'ethnography of reading' in non-Chaucerian English literature; Conclusion; Notes; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

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