Tudor Views of the Middle Ages
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Medieval Institute Publications
Series: Studies in Medieval Culture
Title Page, Copyright
I would like to express my appreciation to the Medieval Institute for the 2004 Visiting Fellowship where I began work on this collection, and to Medieval Institute Publications for their support through the process of collecting and editing the essays. My particular thanks go to David Matthews, who was a meticulous and insightful reader of the manuscript, ...
Introduction: The Body and the Book in Early Modern Readings of the Medieval English Past
Like Hollywood screenwriters who create movies based on television shows, comic books, and video games, writers in the premodern and early modern periods mined antecedent texts for narrative models. For medieval and Renaissance authors, writing very frequently meant rewriting. Some adaptations and revisions obscure their own origins, but some openly reveal their intertextual affiliations. ...
The Resurrected Corpus: History and Reform in Bale’s Kynge Johan
John Bale’s Kynge Johan is frequently recognized as the earliest extant play to stage a representation of an English king—in fact, of two English kings.1 Recognized far less often is that the play is also one of the earliest to stage an English historian—in fact, two English historians. The first of these is the character Veritas, who enters after the historical plot has concluded with John’s assassination, ...
When Polemic Trumps Poetry: Buried Medieval Poem(s) in the Protestant Print I Playne Piers
The ways in which Tudor Protestants appropriated Piers Plowmanand turned William Langland’s work to their own purposes have increasingly gained scholarly interest in recent years. Piers has proven to be a remarkably adaptable character: first presented in the mid-fourteenth century by Langland as a primarily orthodox figure through which to criticize abuses within the church, ...
The Work of Robert Langland
If medievalists recall Robert Langland at all, they probably remember him as a mistake. Along with his neighbors John Malvern and William Langley, Robert Langland was one of the many possible candidates for authorship of Piers Plowman.2 Unlike his neighbors, however, it took him four hundred years to die.3 ...
The Monkish Middle Ages: Periodization and Polemic in Foxe’s Acts and Monuments
Milton’s Satan, journeying toward earth, alights on the outer sphere of the created universe, an empty place that will in time to come be known as the paradise of fools; in it will accumulate “all things vain and all who in vain things / Built their fond hopes.”2 The description that follows catalogs not only “painful superstition” and “blind zeal” ...
“That auntient authoritie”: Old English Laws in the Writings of William Lambarde
No one in Tudor England knew more about Anglo-Saxon law than William Lambarde. He edited the Archaionomia,1 a facing-page edition of Old English laws and Latin translations, and authored several other influential legal handbooks and histories; the first history of an English county, the Perambulation of Kent, also came from his pen. ...
The Rebel Kiss: Jack Cade, Shakespeare, and the Chroniclers
In the summer of 1450 the rebel leader Jack Cade camped on Blackheath and demanded governmental reform. Chief among his rebels’ complaints were the regular extortions practiced by local and royal officials, a lack of free elections for knights of the shire, and the increasingly onerous labor laws that were felt to impinge on long-standing tenant rights. ...
At Hector’s Tomb: Fifteenth-Century Literary History and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida
A number of recent monographs have argued for the importance of the fifteenth century in the development of authorship, humanism, and the formation of the English literary book.1 These studies have complicated the easy division between medieval and early modern literary cultures. ...
Owning the Middle Ages: History, Trauma, and English Identity
In the Tudor period history was a hot commodity, and the history of the medieval past proved to be an especially valuable tool for asserting political legitimacy. Occasions calling for such assertion arose repeatedly throughout the Tudor era, appearing with particular frequency during Elizabeth I’s rule. ...
Notes on Contributors
Rebecca Brackmann is Assistant Professor of English at Lincoln Memorial University. She is the author of The Elizabethan Invention of Anglo-Saxon England. She has also published articles on topics such as Old English law, Anglo-Saxon poetry, and J. R. R. Tolkien. ...
Back Matter, Back Cover