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Chaucer, Gower, and the Vernacular Rising examines the spread of Greco-Roman and European literature into English during late fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century, a time when literacy was burgeoning among men and women from the non-ruling classes. The dissemination of cultural authority inherent in this process offered the radically democratizing potential for accessing, interpreting, and deploying learned texts. Focusing primarily on an overlooked sector of Chaucer’s and Gower’s early readership, namely, the upper strata of non-ruling urban classes, Lynn Arner argues that Chaucer’s and Gower’s writings, in addition to being key conduits of literary riches into English, engaged in elaborate processes of constructing cultural expertise. These writings helped to define gradations of cultural authority, determining who could contribute to the production of legitimate knowledge and granting certain socioeconomic groups political leverage in the wake of the English Rising of 1381. Chaucer, Gower, and the Vernacular Rising shows how English poetry became a powerful participant in processes of social control.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-16
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  1. Chapter 1: Chaucer’s and Gower’s Early Readership Expanded
  2. pp. 17-45
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  1. Chapter 2: Against the Greyness of the Multitude: Poetry, Prestige, and the Confessio Amantis
  2. pp. 46-72
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  1. Chapter 3: Time After Time: Historiography and Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
  2. pp. 73-104
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  1. Chapter 4: In Defense of Cupid: Poetics, Gender, and the Legend of Good Women
  2. pp. 105-129
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  1. Chapter 5: Chaucer on the Effects of Poetry
  2. pp. 130-152
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 153-162
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 163-176
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 177-190
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 191-198
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  1. Back Cover
  2. pp. 210-210
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780271061016
Print ISBN
9780271058931
MARC Record
OCLC
864855505
Pages
192
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-27
Language
English
Open Access
N
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