Academic journal article Medium Aevum

A Concise Companion to Middle English Literature

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

A Concise Companion to Middle English Literature

Article excerpt

A Concise Companion to Middle English Literature, ed. Marilyn Corrie (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). xii + 268 pp.; 3 plates. ISBN 978- 1-49 5 1-2004- 3. £60.00. This collection discusses central contexts of writing in English from 1 100 to 1 500. The essays are grouped in four sections: key contexts, the production of literature, writing in Middle English, and afterlives. In 'Key contexts' discussion is of issues not only applicable to English writing: reading signs and symbols in a great range of phenomena (Barry Windeatt), religious belief (the editor), representations of women (Catherine Sanok), and thinking about the past (Andrew Galloway). In the second section, Alexandra Gillespie discusses methods of textual production and dissemination, and religious and secular contexts of reading, and Jane Griffiths traditional (self-effacing) and new (self-authorizing) ideas about authorship. In the third section, Jeremy J. Smith discusses changes in the language (lexical, grammatical, formal, dialectal) through the period; Helen Cooper discusses translation and adaptation, including the Bible and devotional writings, Malory, and Chaucer; and Helen Barr considers the complex relations between events and texts. …

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