First published in 1988, David Aers explores the treatment of community, gender, and individual identity in English writing between 1360 and 1430, focusing on Margery Kempe, Langland, Chaucer, and the poet of Sir Gawain. He shows how these texts deal with questions about gender, the making of individual identity, and competing versions of community in ways which still speak powerfully in contemporary analysis of gender formation, sexuality, and love. Making wide use of recent research on the English economy and communities, and informed by current debates in the theory of culture and gender, the book will be of interest to those concerned with medieval studies, Renaissance studies, and women’s studies.
Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Piers Plowman: Poverty, Work, and Community 2. The Making of Margery Kempe: Individual and Community 3. Masculine Identity in the Courtly Community: The Self-loving in Troilus and Criseyde 4. ‘In Arthurus Day’: Community, Virtue and Individual Identity in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Notes; Index
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