Three Medieval Centuries of Literature in England, 1100-1400

Three Medieval Centuries of Literature in England, 1100-1400

Three Medieval Centuries of Literature in England, 1100-1400

Three Medieval Centuries of Literature in England, 1100-1400

Excerpt

This book is written to guide and help those who wish to study the medieval literature of England for themselves. Such study, whether in a college course, or in a public library, or among a few books at home, is the only valid study of literature. To approach, explore, and ponder significant works is often an adventure and always an experience. Merely to learn the correct things to say about them is not only a barren substitute; it may be a hindrance in education. The aim of this book, then, is to lead into the English middle age, to indicate the most significant books and literary habits, to exhibit tried methods of study, and to suggest further experiences.

Materials for such study have increased so rapidly in our century that there is need of a compact guidebook. This is provided, first, by the order and arrangement of the text itself to emphasize the most significant works and trends; secondly, in the Appendix, by providing a concise and tested initiation into Middle English, the standard literary language of the fourteenth century, as it was used by Chaucer; thirdly, in a brief section of notes, by indicating useful editions and works of reference or appreciation and otherwise suggesting further study. The sign n indicates that a note will be found in this section bearing the page number of the text.

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