A Companion to Medieval Poetry
Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture 1. Aufl.
A Companion to Medieval Poetry presents a series of original essays from leading literary scholars that explore English poetry from the Anglo-Saxon period up to the 15th century. Organised into three parts to echo the chronological and stylistic divisions between the Anglo-Saxon, Middle English and Post-Chaucerian periods, each section is introduced with contextual essays, providing a valuable introduction to the society and culture of the time Combines a general discussion of genres of medieval poetry, with specific consideration of texts and authors, including Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Chaucer, Gower and Langland Features original essays by eminent scholars, including Andy Orchard, Carl Schmidt, Douglas Gray, and Barry Windeatt, who present a range of theoretical, historical, and cultural approaches to reading medieval poetry, as well as offering close analysis of individual texts and traditions
List of Figures x Notes on Contributors xi Acknowledgements xvi Introduction 1Corinne Saunders Part I Old English Poetry 11 Contexts 13 1 The World of Anglo-Saxon England 15Andy Orchard 2 The Old English Language and the Alliterative Tradition 34Richard Dance 3 Old English Manuscripts and Readers 51Rohini Jayatilaka 4 Old English and Latin Poetic Traditions 65Andy Orchard Genres and Modes 83 5 Germanic Legend and Old English Heroic Poetry 85Hugh Magennis 6 Old English Biblical and Devotional Poetry 101Daniel Anlezark 7 Old English Wisdom Poetry 125David Ashurst 8 Old English Epic Poetry: Beowulf 141Daniel Anlezark Part II Middle English Poetry 161 Contexts 163 9 The World of Medieval England: From the Norman Conquest to the Fourteenth Century 165Conor McCarthy 10 Middle English Language and Poetry 181Simon Horobin 11 Middle English Manuscripts and Readers 196Ralph Hanna Genres and Modes 217 12 Legendary History and Chronicle: La3amon’s Brut and the Chronicle Tradition 219Lucy Perry 13 Medieval Debate-Poetry and The Owl and the Nightingale 237Neil Cartlidge 14 Lyrics, Sacred and Secular 258David Fuller 15 Macaronic Poetry 277Elizabeth Archibald 16 Popular Romance 289Nancy Mason Bradbury 17 Arthurian and Courtly Romance 308Rosalind Field 18 Alliterative Poetry: Religion and Morality 329John Scattergood 19 Alliterative Poetry and Politics 349John Scattergood Poets and Poems 367 20 The Poet of Pearl, Cleanness and Patience 369A. V. C. Schmidt 21 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 385Tony Davenport 22 Langland’s Piers Plowman 401Lawrence Warner 23 Chaucer’s Love Visions 414Helen Phillips 24 Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde 435Alcuin Blamires 25 Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales 452Corinne Saunders 26 The Poetry of John Gower 476R. F. Yeager Part III Post-Chaucerian and Fifteenth-Century Poetry 497 Contexts 499 27 England in the Long Fifteenth Century 501Matthew Woodcock 28 Poetic Language in the Fifteenth Century 520A. S. G. Edwards 29 Manuscript and Print: Books, Readers and Writers 538Julia Boffey Poets and Poems 555 30 Hoccleve and Lydgate 557Daniel Wakelin 31 Women and Writing 575C. Annette Grisé 32 Medieval Scottish Poetry 592Douglas Gray 33 Courtiers and Courtly Poetry 608Barry Windeatt 34 Drama: Sacred and Secular 626Pamela King Epilogue: Afterlives of Medieval English Poetry 647Corinne Saunders Index 661
“It is impossible within the confines of a review article to do justice to every – or, indeed, to any – chapter in this well-thought-out book. As a ‘companion’, it is to be revisited with enjoyment for its many new insights on familiar and well-loved material and its confident handling of new approaches to the study of medieval English poetry.” (Parergon, 2012) "This is, however, a minor quibble; the essays in this book provide very useful introductions to the subjects they cover, and seem well placed to become standard basic reference works on medieval English poetry". (Medium Aevum, 2011) "This Blackwell Companion to Medieval Poetry is a very fine resource for students and teachers alike. It is particularly commendable for its wide scope, ranging from the earliest Old English texts to the poetry of late-medieval England (post-Chaucerian), as well as for its clear attention both to wider context, and to genre, modes and authors, and occasionally to individual texts, such as Chaucer's love visions, Troilus, or The Canterbury Tales (each of which receives its own chapter)." (Routledge ABES, 2011)
Corinne Saunders is Professor in the Department of English Studies and Director of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Durham. A specialist in medieval literature and the history of ideas, her recent publications include Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England (2001), A Companion to Romance (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004), Madness and Creativity in Literature and Culture (co-edited with Jane Macnaughton, 2005), Pearl (co-edited with David Fuller, 2005), A Concise Companion to Chaucer (Wiley-Blackwell, 2006), The Body and the Arts (co-edited with Ulrika Maude and Jane Macnaughton, 2009), and Magic and the Supernatural in Medieval English Romance (2010). She is the English editor of the international journal of Medieval Studies, Medium Ævum.
In a series of original essays from leading literary scholars, this Companion offers a chronological sweep of medieval poetry from Old English to the great genres of romance, narrative, and alliterative poetry of the 15th century. Beginning in the Anglo-Saxon period, the volume explores the Old English language and its alliterative tradition, before moving on to examine the genres of heroic, devotional, wisdom and epic poetry, culminating in a discussion of arguably the founding text of the English literary canon, the great epic Beowulf. In part two, the Companion moves on to discuss the linguistic and social changes brought about as a result of the Norman Conquest, exploring how this influenced the development of literary genres. Essays probe the shifts and continuities in genres such as lyric, chronicle and dream vision, and the emergence of new genres such as popular and courtly romance, and drama. A particular focus is the continuation of the alliterative tradition from the Anglo-Saxon period to the fifteenth century. A series of chapters on major authors, including Chaucer, Gower, and Langland, provide fresh approaches to reading and studying key texts, such as The Canterbury Tales, Piers Plowman and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Finally, the collection examines cultural change at the close of the medieval period and the variety of literature produced in the 'long fifteenth century', including writing by and for women, Scots poetry, clerical and courtly works, and secular and sacred drama.
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