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458 Reviews Clerks and Courtiers: Chaucer, Late Middle English Literature and theState Formation Process. By Andrew James Johnston. (Anglistische Forschungen, 30) Heidelberg : Winter. 2001. 410 pp.; 2 plates. SwF 995658. ISBN 3-8253-1234-8. Hoccleve's 'Regiment of Princes': Counsel and Constraint. By Nicholas Perkins. Cambridge: Brewer. 2001. xi + 235 pp.; 1 table; 2 plates. ?35; $50. ISBN 085991 -631-6. These two books are representative ofcurrent trends in critical scholarship in their use of contextualized micro-studies as a means to re-evaluate familiar material. One assesses the influence of the bureaucratic culture and the other interpretative strategies for reading advisory texts. Andrew James Johnston searches for a new non-courtly discourse with which to study courtly literature in the age of Chaucer. Johnston chal? lenges the grand recitof modernity that claims development of a capitalist bourgeoisie and decline ofthe aristocracy in the Middle Ages. He argues fora new social paradigm in which academically trained state functionaries live in co-dependency and rivalry with the court culture. Throughout the book exploration of the social and cultural conditions is informed by Norbert Elias's theory of the state-formation process and Pierre Bourdieu's vision of social and literary fields. In the opening chapters, studies of selected Canterbury Tales are comprehensive in breadth, but on a few occasions failto prioritize the analytical discourse that is put for? ward in the introduction. Nevertheless, what emerges is a series of fascinating new in? sights into topical debates in Chaucerian studies. Johnston analyses how in Sir Thopas and Melibee Chaucer's attempts at authorial self-definition create a literary field that holds a distinct space between courtly and clerkly identities. In the Man of Law's Tale our attention is drawn to how literature, like any other social space, is a world of contractual power relations between the two identities. In the Clerk's Tale wealth and status are gained owing to the clerk's role as mediator between Latin and vernacular cultures, through using the ambiguous courtly/clerkly space of literature to define his clerkly identity. Johnston's argument continues by investigating how Chaucer's followers redefine his poetics. The division between the study of the Chaucerian texts and his followers at times feels a little disjointed; more syntheses of the differentparts of the study would have been useful. Gower is shown to reject interpretative openness in favour of inviting Chaucer to join his philosophical clerkly world. Usk detects the connection between the development ofthe state and the beginning of a self-conscious national literature in England, ofwhich Chaucer is the figurehead. Mean while, Scogan emphasizes his own fashioned ideological and moral bonds, rather than blood bonds, between himself and Chaucer, creating a trope to defend the Lancastrian dynasty. Visual reappropriations are also studied alongside the writings of these clerks, where synthesis of Johnston's various readings is effectivelymanaged. Hoccleve's styling of Chaucer as the archetypal clerical poet is studied in detail. An illuminating discus? sion is made of Hoccleve's clerkly manipulations of vernacular poetics as a means to reassert religious orthodoxy in defiance of the Lollards, but otherwise Johnston adds little new to Hoccleve criticism. The book closes with a study of Pecock. Although an ecclesiastic rather than clerkly figure, Pecock is used as an extreme example of how identity can be informed by academic culture, through a study of his sensitivity to anti-intellectual anticlericalism. Thus, Chaucer's explorations of ambiguities in his courtly/clerical world are refashioned by his followers, through a variety of ways, into a distinctly clerical voice. In conclusion, Johnston convincingly demonstrates a new, complex, and varied clerkly discourse that challenges conventional social, political, and literary assumptions held about late medieval courtly literature. Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in Hoccleve's clerkly writings. Nicholas Perkins's book is the firstfull-length study devoted to a single poem of Hoc? cleve's, the Regiment ofPrinces. Perkins rejects conventional readings of the poem in MLRy 99.2, 2004 459 which Hoccleve acts as an agent of Lancastrain rule, or is at the mercy of literary and political constraints of the 'mirror for princes' genre. Instead, a persuasive argument is developed concerning royal advice...