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This volume brings together Lee Patterson’s essays published in various venues over the past twenty-seven years. As he observes in his preface, “The one persistent recognition that emerged from writing these otherwise quite disparate essays is that whatever the text . . . and whoever the people . . ., the values at issue remain central to contemporary life.” Two dialectics are at work in this book: that between the past and the present and that between the individual and the social, and both have moral significance. The first two chapters are methodological; the first is on the historical understanding of medieval literature and the second on how to manage the inseparability of fact and value in the classroom. The next three chapters take up three “less-read” late medieval writers: Sir John Clanvowe, Thomas Hoccleve, and John Lydgate. Each is used to illuminate a social phenomenon: the nature of court culture, the experience of the city, and Henry V’s act of self-making. The following chapter explicitly links past and present by arguing that the bearing of the English aristocrat comes from a tradition beginning with Beowulf and later reinvoked in response to nineteenth-century imperialism. The next three chapters are the most literary, dealing with Chaucer and with literary conventions in relation to a number of texts. The final chapter is on the man Patterson considers one of the most important of our medieval ancestors, Francis of Assisi.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
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  1. Historical Criticism and the Development of Chaucer Studies
  2. pp. 1-30
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  1. The Disenchanted Classroom
  2. pp. 31-55
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  1. Court Poetry and the Invention of Literature: The Example of Sir John Clanvowe
  2. pp. 56-83
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  1. "What Is Me?": Hoccleve and the Trials of the Urban Self
  2. pp. 84-109
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  1. Appendix to Chapter 4
  2. pp. 110-119
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  1. Making Identities in Fifteenth-Century England: Henry V and John Lydgate
  2. pp. 120-154
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  1. The Heroic Laconic Style: Reticence and Meaning from Beowulf to the Edwardians
  2. pp. 155-180
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  1. Writing Amorous Wrongs: Chaucer and the Order of Complaint
  2. pp. 181-197
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  1. Genre and Source in Troilus and Criseyde
  2. pp. 198-214
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  1. "Rapt with Pleasaunce": The Gaze from Virgil to Milton
  2. pp. 215-233
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  1. Brother Fire and St. Francis's Drawers: Human Nature and the Natural World
  2. pp. 234-251
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 252-340
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 341-356
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780268089795
Related ISBN
9780268038373
MARC Record
OCLC
694144516
Pages
400
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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