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Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Dan Geffrey with the New Poete

This is a much-needed volume that brings together established and early career scholars to provide new critical approaches to the relationship between Geoffrey Chaucer and Edmund Spenser. By reading one of the greatest poets of the Middle Ages alongside one of the greatest poets of the English Renaissance, this collection poses questions about poetic authority, influence and the nature of intertextual relations in a more wide-ranging manner than ever before. With its dual focus on authors from periods often conceived as radically separate, the collection also responds to current interests in periodisation. This approach will engage academics, researchers and students of medieval and early modern culture.

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Post-Reformation memory and the medieval romance

Difficult pasts combines book history, reception history and theories of cultural memory to explore how Reformation-era audiences used medieval literary texts to construct their own national and religious identities. It argues that the medieval romance book became a flexible site of memory for readers after the Protestant Reformation, allowing them to both connect with and distance themselves from the recent ‘difficult past’. Central characters in this study range from canonical authors like Geoffrey Chaucer and Edmund Spenser to less studied figures, such as printer William Copland, Elizabethan scribe Edward Banister and seventeenth-century poet and romance enthusiast, John Lane. In uniting a wide range of romance readers’ perspectives, Difficult pasts complicates clear ruptures between manuscript and print, Catholic and Protestant, or medieval and Renaissance. It concludes that the romance book offers a new way to understand the simultaneous change and continuity that defines post-Reformation England. Overall, Difficult pasts offers an interdisciplinary framework for better understanding the role of physical books and imaginative forms in grappling with the complexities of representing and engaging with the past.

Editors: and

This volume demonstrates how the Hundred Years War (1337–1453) provides a necessary context for late medieval literature. Many of the major writers of the period, in a variety of different languages, lived either all or most of their lives under the shadow of war, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Christine de Pizan, Giovanni Boccaccio and Bridget of Sweden. The essays collected here investigate how authors use strategies including translation, adaptation and allegory in order to respond to the war. Simultaneously, they make a case for reconsidering how literature like women's visionary writing or lyric poetry, not generally seen as war literature, form part of the broader context of European warfare. As it extends the boundaries of what counts as war literature, the volume also moves beyond the traditional Anglo-French framing of the conflict by considering authors enmeshed in the conflict through proxy battles, diplomatic ties and ideological disputes. While covering English and French writers explicitly writing to the war, like John Lydgate or Alain Chartier, it also explores the war writing of prominent Welsh, Scottish and Italian authors, like Dafydd ap Gwilym, Walter Bower and Catherine of Siena. The book models a synthetic and transnational literary history of conflict that will pave the way for future scholarship in earlier and later periods. The chapters in this volume show how literature did more than reflect the realities of the Hundred Years War; it was also a crucial site for contesting the claims of war as literary writers crafted ways to actively intervene in the conflict.

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Society, allegory and gender

This book on Geoffrey Chaucer explores the relationship between Chaucer's poetry and the change and conflict characteristic of his day and the sorts of literary and non-literary conventions that were at his disposal for making sense of the society around him. Critics who consider the social meaning of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales fall into two main schools: those who present his social thought as an expression of the dominant spirit or ideology of his day and those who see Chaucer as possessing a more heterodox voice. Many of the present generation of Chaucer critics have been trained either as 'Robertsonians' or as 'Donaldsonians'. For D. W. Robertson, even those medieval poems which do not explicitly address religious issues were frequently intended to promote the Augustinian doctrine of charity beneath a pleasing surface; for E. Talbot Donaldson, there are 'no such poems in Middle English'. The book sets out the basics of the Augustinian doctrine of charity and of medieval allegorical theory and examines 'patristic' interpretations of Chaucer's work, particularly of the 'Nun's Priest Tale'. It looks at the humanist alternative to the patristic method and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the patristic approach. The book also outlines some of the major medieval discourses about sexual difference which inform Chaucer's depiction of women, in particular, the tendency of medieval writers to polarise their views of women, condemning them to the pit or elevating them to the pedestal.

Open Access (free)
Literatures of the Hundred Years War
Daniel Davies
R. D. Perry

interrelation between acts of writing and the material, social and political conditions that enabled them. Many of the major writers of the late Middle Ages – Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, Thomas Hoccleve and John Lydgate in England; Eustache Deschamps, Christine de Pizan and Alain Chartier in France; Jean Froissart and Jan van Boendale in the Low Countries; Pedro López de Ayala in Castile; Oswald von Wolkenstein in the Holy Roman Empire; and even Bridget of Sweden and Catherine of Siena, to name but a few – lived the majority

in Literatures of the Hundred Years War
Performing passion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
Andreas Mahler

moments in English history in which the ‘literary’ can be seen to emerge, one (predictably) around 1600, the other one (not so predictably) roughly two centuries earlier. It has tried to show that Geoffrey Chaucer, as early as 1385, in juxtaposing the Platonic and the Petrarchist discourse on love (and mingling this with the idea of amor hereos ), managed to display the rivalry of two incompatible

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
Criseyde to Cressida
Wolfram R. Keller

. 207–30 (pp. 209–10), but cf. G. Mieszkowski, ‘Chaucer’s much loved Criseyde’, Chaucer Review , 26:2 (1991), 109–32. 25 On the close proximity of the Poet and Criseyde, see e.g. J. L. Lowes, Geoffrey Chaucer (London: Oxford University Press, 1934), pp. 152–4; Donaldson, Speaking of

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
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Reading, space and intimacy in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde
Andrew James Johnston

, and Will in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde (New York and London: Routledge, 2006), p. 69). 8 See for instance B. Nolan, Chaucer and the Tradition of the ‘Roman Antique’ , Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 15 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 228

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare