women formed part of this literary coterie. Anne Harling ( c .
1426–98), Fastolf’s great-niece and ward, borrowed John
Paston II’s copy of Troilus and shared an interest in the
Epistle of Othea. Moreover, a collection of MiddleEnglish
religious treatises commissioned by Anne in the 1460s was
written by the scribe who had previously penned a number of letters on
Sunday, placing this Bible at the heart of liturgical celebration. The joining of media is evident in other places as well. MiddleEnglish texts were an important means of transmitting biblical knowledge to less-Latinate audiences. These literary narratives convey liturgical traits alongside preaching techniques, demonstrating how different forms of biblical aesthetics came together. Thus, in Piers Plowman the latter is evident in the divisions of the Tower of Truth and the Castle of Care (Passus 1 and 5), as in the portrayal of biblical events in their medieval
James Simpson, Reform and Cultural Revolution: The Oxford English Literary History, Vol. 2: 1350–1547 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 335–6, 391.
Clifford Davidson, Martin W. Walsh, and Ton J. Broos (eds), Everyman and its Dutch Original, Elckerlijc (2007), Teams MiddleEnglish Texts , http://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams (accessed 11 April 2019
example Catherine Sanok, ‘Reading Hagiographically:
The Legend of Good Women and its Feminine Audience’, Exemplaria
13 (2001), pp. 323–54, at p. 341; Katherine J. Lewis, ‘History,
Historiography and Re-writing the Past’, in Sarah Salih (ed.),
A Companion to MiddleEnglish Hagiography (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer,
2006), pp. 122–40, at p. 123.
3 Chaucer refers to the ‘lyf … of Seynt Cecile’ in the F Prologue to the
Legend of Good Women (l. 426), indicating that he wrote it sometime
before 1386–7. All quotations of Chaucer’s poetry follow Larry
D. Benson (ed.), The
Reading the virtue of soldier-saints in medieval literary genres
N-Town Play, pp. 337–41.
16 N-Town Play, p. 358/261–2.
17 N-Town Play, p. 359/303.
18 Martin Stevens and A.C. Cawley (eds), The Towneley Plays II,
EETS S.S. 14 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 194/400,
195/423, 198/531. (Hereafter Towneley Plays II.)
19 Towneley Plays II, p. 201/654–5.
20 MiddleEnglish Dictionary, ‘knight’, 2(a).
21 MiddleEnglish Dictionary, ‘knight’, 1(a).
22 Richard Hamer (ed.), Gilte Legende, 2 vols, EETS O.S. 327–8
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006–7), Vol. 2, pp. 697/77–698/81.
(Hereafter Gilte Legende.)
enduringly influential works of guidance for English anchorites. Two
separate translations into MiddleEnglish survive, though only one of them
is complete. This excerpt is from the longer version which was made around
the middle of the fifteenth century in the south of England, with the title
‘A Treatise that is a rule and a form of living pertaining to a
Translated from the MiddleEnglish, chapter 3 of MS Bodley 423
Thomas of Erceldoune’s prophecy, Eleanor Hull’s Commentary on the penitential Psalms, and Thomas Norton’s Ordinal of alchemy
customize the text to the individual reader’s needs and interests. Yet temporal reading does not
promote only the ability to customize reading pace and frequency
in order to achieve ‘bisye’ reading. An interpretation of how temporal reading functions that contrasts with the view of the translator of the Orcherd emerges in the MiddleEnglish translation of the
Pseudo-Augustinian soliloquies. In it, the translator notes instead
that temporal reading offers an opportunity for refreshment of the
reader. To this translator, the divisions of the text facilitate readers
is found in the MiddleEnglish
Miscellany examined in Chapter 5 as well as, formerly, on the wall of the
Chapel of the Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon.86 Pre-Reformation readers
probably had a fairly fluid perception of the connections between texts
on walls and texts in books, perhaps particularly where moral, didactic
and religious text is concerned. Stories 25 and 39 also seem to rehearse or
mimic a process of reading and marking inscribed texts of moral import
within their stories. In each case, a character within the tale is described as
studying or reading the
himself to conventional adjectives of general import ( rounde, reken ‘beautiful’, smal, smothe ). Moreover, the adjectives belong to a vocabulary used for the description of courtly ladies in MiddleEnglish literature, and one phrase in particular ( so smothe her sydes were , line 6) suggests a woman rather than a jewel.
This meaning seems to be corroborated by the fourfold use of the feminine pronoun in the first nine lines. In line 10 the neuter pronoun appears instead of the feminine pronoun, but then in lines 11–12 the dreamer seems to be confirming the hint in
’ see Elizabeth Mazzola, The Pathology of the English Renaissance: Sacred Remains and Holy Ghosts (Leiden: Brill, 1998), p. 39.
17 See Rosalie Vermette, ‘Terrae Incantatae: The Symbolic Geography of Twelfth-Century Arthurian Romance’, in Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines , ed. William E. Mallory and Paul Simpson-Housley (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1987), pp. 145–60.
18 See Stevens, Medieval Romance , p. 277. See also Carol Fewster, Traditionality and Genre in MiddleEnglish Romance (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1987).