John Lydgate

1st Edition

Derek Pearsall

Routledge
July 12, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 324 Pages
ISBN 9780367187781 - CAT# K416921
Series: Routledge Library Editions: The Medieval World

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Summary

Originally published in 1970, John Lydgate sets out to restore a sense of perspective to the work of Lydgate, not by attributing a spurious modernity as a precursor of the Renaissance, but by accepting the fact that he is fundamentally medieval. The book analyses Lydgate’s background in literary tradition and compares this with Chaucer’s work. The book looks at Lydgate as a professional craftsman and examines how his work adapted to the demands and occasions of his age. Without over-valuing the poetry, this approach makes it possible to discriminate with increased objectivity between the more and less worthwhile and to distinguish the unexpectedly large number of poems in which craftsman-like competence rises to rhetorical artistry of a high order. In accepting Lydgate as the epitome of his age, the book also provides a diagram of the medieval poetic mind in its basic form and suggests the usefulness of Lydgate as a source book for the understanding of medieval literature.

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