Medieval Writers and Their Work: Middle English Literature 1100-1500
In an updated edition of his hugely successful student introduction to English literature from 1100 to 1500, J. A. Burrow takes account of scholarly developments in the the field, most notably devoting a final chapter to the impact of historicism on medieval studies. Full of information and stimulating ideas, and a pleasure to read, Burrow's book deals with circumstances of composition and reception, the main genres, 'modes of meaning' (allegory etc.), and medieval literature'safterlife in modern times. It shows that the literature of authors such as Chaucer, Gower, and Langland is more readily accessible than usually imagined, and well worth reading too. By placing medieval writers in their historical context - the four centuries between the Norman Conquest and theRenaissance - Professor Burrow explains not only how they wrote, but why.
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allegory alliterative verse Ancrene Wisse Anglo-Saxon Aristotle’s Arthur audience Boccaccio’s Breton lay Brut Cambridge Canterbury Canterbury Tales chanson de femme Chapter character characteristic Chaucer Chrétien de Troyes Christ Classical Comedy Confessio Amantis Conscience courtly criticism Dante Dante’s distinction Divine Comedy England English literature English poetry example exempla exemplary exemplum fabliau fact fiction fictive formal French Friar Gawain-poet genre Gower’s Confessio Amantis Green Knight Havelok Hoccleve imitation instance John John Gower kind King Langland language Latin LaZamon literary London look lyric Malory’s manuscript Medieval English Middle Ages Middle English Middle English literature Middle English period Middle English writers Miller’s mode modern readers narrative Nightingale Old English Oxford passage Patience Pearl personification Piers Plowman poem poet poet’s poetic printing Prologue prose represent rhyme romance says scribes sense Sir Gawain sort speaks story surviving texts tradition translation treatise Troilus truth twelfth century vernacular words writing