Originally published in 1970, John Lydgate sets out to restore a sense of perspective to the work of Lydgate, not by attributing a spurious modernity as a precursor of the Renaissance, but by accepting the fact that he is fundamentally medieval. The book analyses Lydgate’s background in literary tradition and compares this with Chaucer’s work. The book looks at Lydgate as a professional craftsman and examines how his work adapted to the demands and occasions of his age. Without over-valuing the poetry, this approach makes it possible to discriminate with increased objectivity between the more and less worthwhile and to distinguish the unexpectedly large number of poems in which craftsman-like competence rises to rhetorical artistry of a high order. In accepting Lydgate as the epitome of his age, the book also provides a diagram of the medieval poetic mind in its basic form and suggests the usefulness of Lydgate as a source book for the understanding of medieval literature.
1. John Lydgate: The Critical Approach
2. The Monastic Background
3. Chaucer and the Literary Background
4. The Courtly Poems
5. Troy and Thebes
6. Laureate Lydgate
7. Fables and Didactic Poems
8. The Fall of Princes
9. Lydgate’s Religious Poetry
The volumes in this set, originally published between 1938 and 1994, draw together research by leading academics in the area of medieval history and medieval literature, and provide a rigorous examination of related key issues. The volume examines medieval history from the early Middle Ages, right up until the Reformation, as well as the effect of the medieval period on later cultures, such as the Victorians. This collection draws together books on the monarchy, medieval philosophy, religion, art, music, psychology and architecture as well as volumes on medieval archeology. The collection also brings together key volumes on medieval literature of the period, with formative works examining medieval religious literature, medieval legends and oral tradition. The collection also includes titles examining specific poems from the period such as Piers Plowman, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Pearl, as well as volumes on influential writers of the period such as Jean Froissant, John Lydgate and Margery Kempe. This collection brings back into print a collection of insightful and detailed books on the diverse medieval period and will be a must have resource for academics and students, not only of history and literature, but of anthropology, music, psychology and religion.