Anne Middleton's essays have been among the most vigorous, learned, and influential in the field of medieval English literature. Their 'crux-busting' energies have illuminated local obscurities with generous learning lightly wielded. Their historically- and theoretically-informed meditations on the nature of poetic discourse traced how the generation of Chaucer and Langland devised a category of the literary that could embody a ethos of engaged, worldly consensus and make that consensus available to imaginative and rational consideration. And their reflections on the enterprise of literary study found a rational way, free of cant, to understand the work of the literary scholar. This volume reprints eight essays: ’The Idea of Public Poetry in the Reign of Richard II,’ ’Chaucer's 'New Men' and the Good of Literature in the Canterbury Tales,’ ’The Physician's Tale and Love's Martyrs: 'Ensamples Mo than Ten' as a Method in the Canterbury Tales,’ ’The Clerk and His Tale: Some Literary Contexts,’ ’Narration and the Invention of Experience: Episodic Form in Piers Plowman,’ ’Making a Good End: John But as a Reader of Piers Plowman,’ ’William Langland's 'Kynde Name': Authorial Signature and Social Identity in Late Fourteenth-Century England,’ ’Life in the Margins, or, What's an Annotator to Do?’ It includes one essay previously unpublished, ’Playing the Plowman: Legends of Fourteenth-Century Authorship.’
Contents: Publications of Anne Middleton; Introduction, Steven Justice; The idea of public poetry in the age of Richard II; Chaucer's 'new men' and the good of literature in the Canterbury Tales; The Physician's Tale and love's martyrs: 'ensamples mo than ten' as a method in the Canterbury Tales; The Clerk and his tale: some literary contexts; Playing the plowman: legends of 14th-century authorship; Narration and the invention of experience: episodic form in Piers Plowman; Making a good end: John But as a reader of Piers Plowman; William Langland's 'kynde name': authorial signature and social identity in late 14th-century England; Life in the margins, or, what's an annotator to do?
The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.
The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.
Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource.
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