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 It includes one essay previously unpublished, ’Playing the Plowman: Legends of Fourteenth-Century Authorship.’
Table of Contents
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?
Anne Middleton is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Steven Justice is Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.