Anne Middleton's essays have been among the most vigorous, learned, and influential in the field of medieval English literature. Their 'crux-busting' energies have illuminated local obscurities with generous learning lightly wielded. Their historically- and theoretically-informed meditations on the nature of poetic discourse traced how the generation of Chaucer and Langland devised a category of the literary that could embody a ethos of engaged, worldly consensus and make that consensus available to imaginative and rational consideration. And their reflections on the enterprise of literary study found a rational way, free of cant, to understand the work of the literary scholar. This volume reprints eight essays: ’The Idea of Public Poetry in the Reign of Richard II,’ ’Chaucer's 'New Men' and the Good of Literature in the Canterbury Tales,’ ’The Physician's Tale and Love's Martyrs: 'Ensamples Mo than Ten' as a Method in the Canterbury Tales,’ ’The Clerk and His Tale: Some Literary Contexts,’ ’Narration and the Invention of Experience: Episodic Form in Piers Plowman,’ ’Making a Good End: John But as a Reader of Piers Plowman,’ ’William Langland's 'Kynde Name': Authorial Signature and Social Identity in Late Fourteenth-Century England,’ ’Life in the Margins, or, What's an Annotator to Do?’ It includes one essay previously unpublished, ’Playing the Plowman: Legends of Fourteenth-Century Authorship.’
Table of Contents
Contents: Publications of Anne Middleton; Introduction, Steven Justice; The idea of public poetry in the age of Richard II; Chaucer's 'new men' and the good of literature in the Canterbury Tales; The Physician's Tale and love's martyrs: 'ensamples mo than ten' as a method in the Canterbury Tales; The Clerk and his tale: some literary contexts; Playing the plowman: legends of 14th-century authorship; Narration and the invention of experience: episodic form in Piers Plowman; Making a good end: John But as a reader of Piers Plowman; William Langland's 'kynde name': authorial signature and social identity in late 14th-century England; Life in the margins, or, what's an annotator to do?