John Lydgate

John Lydgate (lĬd´gāt), c.1370–c.1450, English poet, a monk of Bury St. Edmunds. A professed disciple of Chaucer, he was one of the most influential, voluminous, and versatile writers of the Middle Ages. His works may be divided into three classes: (1) poems written in the Chaucerian manner, such as the Complaint of the Black Knight, which resembles Chaucer's Book of the Duchess, and the allegory The Temple of Glass; (2) lengthy translations, of which the Troy Book (from the Latin of Guido della Colonna), The Fall of Princes (from the French of Laurent de Premierfait), and The Siege of Thebes (also from the French), are the best known; (3) short pieces, including fables, saints' lives, and devotional, philosophic, and occasional poems. After Lydgate's death his fame diminished rapidly. His poetry has been criticized for its prolixity and prosaic style.

See his Poems, ed. by J. Norton-Smith (1966); biography by L. A. Ebin (1985); study by D. A. Pearsall (1970).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

John Lydgate: Selected full-text books and articles

The Queen's Dumbshows: John Lydgate and the Making of Early Theater By Claire Sponsler University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014
John Lydgate: A Study in the Culture of the XVth Century By Walter F. Schirmer; Ann E. Keep University of California Press, 1961
The Fall of Princes and Lydgate's Knowledge of the Book of the Duchess By Parsons, Ben European English Messenger, Vol. 21, No. 2, Winter 2012
'To Al Indifferent': The Virtues of Lydgate's 'Dietary' By Morrissey, Jake Walsh Medium Aevum, Vol. 84, No. 2, July 1, 2015
Lydgate's Life of Our Lady: A Text in Transition By Hardman, Phillipa Medium Aevum, Vol. 65, No. 2, July 1, 1996
Queen Katherine and the Secret of Lydgate's Temple of Glas By Mitchell, J. Allan Medium Aevum, Vol. 77, No. 1, January 1, 2008
Humor in British Literature, from the Middle Ages to the Restoration: A Reference Guide By Don L. E. Nilsen Greenwood Press, 1997
Librarian's tip: "John Lydgate (c1370-c1451)" begins on p. 31
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