The Idea Of The Vernacular
An Anthology of Middle English Literary Theory, 1280-1520
Edited by Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Nicholas Watson, Andrew Taylor and Ruth Evans
This anthology is the first to collect and to analyze a significant sample of texts from the late Middle Ages concerned with the writing or reading process. Some sixty prologues and other excerpts from one of the most important periods of English literature are drawn from literary texts as well as from religious, philosophical, historical and other kinds of writing. The book is designed as a useful sourcebook for university teachers, providing texts and historical, contextual background.
The book also includes five essays which propose new definitions of medieval literary theory and discuss the politics of Middle English writing. It also provides headnotes, notes, two maps, bibliography, a substantial 55-page glossary and indices grouping the works by date, region, literary genre, profession or background of author, intended audience or patron, and frequency of survival in manuscripts or early printed editions.
Only collection offering a large Middle English sampler combined with a view of the literary context Many of the texts are previously unedited, or are not easily available Contextualizes major writers such as Chaucer, Langland, Malory
Alexandra Barratt, Brendan Biggs, Ruth Evans, Ian R. Johnson, Cynthea Masson, Helen Phillips, Denis Renevey, Stephen Shepherd, Patricia Sunderland, Andrew Taylor, Nicholas Watson and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
“The selections are thoughtfully presented, and the well-conceived apparatus makes them accessible and informative for beginners and advanced scholars alike . . . The volume’s important contribution is to assemble in an intelligently edited form otherwise scattered and in some cases overlooked source materials for a more complete literary history of Middle English than has hitherto been possible.” (Notes and Queries, Vol. 47, No. 3 September 2000)
Andrew Taylor is Assistant Professor of English, University of Saskatchewan. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne is Senior Lecturer in English, University of Liverpool. Nicholas Watson is Professor of English, University of Western Ontario. Ruth Evans is Professor of English at St Louis University. She has published articles on medieval drama, medieval translation, and courtly literature and is co-editor of The Wife of Bath and All Her Sect (1993), a collection of feminist re-readings of medieval texts
The Idea Of The Vernacular - An Anthology of Middle English Literary Theory, 1280-1520 - Hardback cover