Originally published in 1951 Middle English Literature applies methods of literary evaluation to certain Middle English works. Arguing that previous literary criticism has largely focused on the commentary of their historical, social, philological and religious content, the book suggests that it has led to a thinking that Middle English literature is without artistic value and therefore cannot be compared effectively with later works of the fourteenth and fifteenth century. While traditional analysis has been beneficial to scientific and historical findings, this text seeks to look deeper into the artistic merits of the works and the authors that wrote them, arguing that the authors of these Middle English texts, wrote with the same motivations and experiences of these later authors which in turn informed the artistic basis of these Middle English works. The book looks at Middle English texts through three main areas: the Metrical Romances, the Religious Lyrics and Piers Plowman.
1. The Middle English Metrical Romances
2. The Middle English Religious Lyrics
3. ‘The Vision of Piers Plowman’
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.