Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

A Proper Dyaloge Betwene a Gentillman and an Husbandman

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

A Proper Dyaloge Betwene a Gentillman and an Husbandman

Article excerpt

A Proper Dyaloge betwene a Gentillman and an Husbandman. Edited by Douglas H. Parker. (Buffalo: University of Toronto Press. 1996. Pp. ix, 291. $55.00.)

This critical edition gives us a full introduction with commentary, glossary, and variants framing fifty pages of primary texts.Two sixteenth-century poems, "An A. B. C. to the spiritualte"and a "Dialoge" between a landowner and a farmer, preface two late medieval prose tracts on the excessive wealth and power of the clergy, and the legitimacy of an English Bible.

For the literary scholar, the introduction draws the helpful distinction between equivocal dialogues, such as Utopia, and univocal ones, such as A proper dyaloge (1529, 1530) and Rede Me and Be Nott Wrothe (1528) (University of Toronto Press, 1992). Having edited both works, Parker argues plausibly from stanza-form and diction that William Roye and Jerome Barlowe, ex-Franciscan Observants, composed both verse satires.

For the historian, the introduction surveys anticlerical protests from Marsilius of Padua, Lorenzo Valla, and anonymous Lollards.The notes document many historical events, such as the conflict between King John and the papacy, King Henry V's persecution of the Lollards, and the burning of William Tyndale's New Testament, the first English version made from the original Greek.

The most challenging thesis which Parker proposes is that William Tyndale edited and emended at least part of the medieval tract, A compendious olde treatyse. This brief work was printed separately in 1530, included in A proper dyaloge later in 1530, and reprinted in Foxe's Book of Martyrs c.1563. Margaret Deanesly (1920) and Curt E Buhler (1938) have published a different version taken directly from a medieval manuscript, which Parker gives in an appendix for the sake of comparison. …

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