John Lydgate  book cover
1st Edition

John Lydgate

ISBN 9780367187804
Published December 31, 2020 by Routledge
328 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

General Preface

Author’s Note

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

10. Conclusion

Select Bibliography


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