Challenges students to think beyond a narrowly defined canon and conventional disciplinary boundaries. Includes close readings of frequently studied texts, including texts by Chaucer, Langland, the Gawain poet, and Hoccleve.
The history of "The Book of Margery Kempe" from its first production in 1934 is also part of the history of English literary studies. Marea Mitchell traces some of the fascinating stories behind the proliferation of productions since then, including the involvement of Hope Emily Allen and other independent women scholars, popular receptions of the Book in World War II, and current productions that locate it as part of a medieval literary canon. Working from a cultural materialist perspective, Mitchell focuses on the materiality of the text itself and of the bodies of scholarship that have arisen around it.
Written in an engaging and accessible manner, English Literature in the Age of Chaucer serves as both a lucid introduction to Middle English literature for those coming fresh to the study of earlier English writing, and as a stimulating examination of the themes, traditions and the literary achievement of a number of particulary original and interesting authors. In addition to detailed and sensitive treatment of Chaucer's major works, the book includes chapters on his chief contemporaries, such as John Gower, William Langland and the Gawain-poet. It also examines the often underrated contribution to the English literary tradition of his successors John Lydgate and Thomas Hoccleve, as well as the interesting and original work of the Scottish poets, Robert Henryson, William Dunbar and Gavin Douglas, who also claim Chaucer as their model. Apart from the narrative poetry of Chaucer and his followers, the book also contains chapters on the Middle English lyric; Middle English prose, including Mandeville's travels; the most original and imaginative writings of the Middle English mystics, in particular Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe; and Thomas Malory's impressive prose compilation of Arthurian stories.
Biographies, poetic compositions, works that are mystical, prophetic, visionary, or meditative: the selections here reflect the developments in medieval piety, particularly in the link between female spirituality and the body. Included are the dramatic visionary writings of Hildegard of Bingen; letters and poems by Hadewijch expressing passionate love for God; and Marguerite Porete's allegorical poem "The Mirror of Simple Souls," a dialogue between Love and Soul that was condemned as heretical. Also included are biographies written by male ecclesiastics of women such as Christine the Astonishing, whose extraordinary behavior included being resurrected at her own funeral; revelations received by Bridget of Sweden, the first woman to found a religious order; and excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe, in which Margery imagines herself as a servant caring for the Virgin Mary in her childhood. This volume, edited by Elizabeth Spearing, who also prepared some of the translations, features a rich introduction to the lives and religious experiences of its subjects, as well as full explanatory notes. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.
'And then he, completely astonished at her words, left off his lewdness, saying to her as many a man had done before, "Either you are a truly good woman or else a truly wicked woman." ' Brave, outspoken and guaranteed to annoy people wherever she went - including exasperated fellow pilgrims in Jerusalem and her long-suffering husband - Margery Kempe was one of the most vivid and unforgettable voices of the Middle Ages. Whether travelling alone, getting herself arrested or having visions of marrying Jesus, Margery repeatedly defied feminine convention - and also managed to compose the first autobiography in English, despite being unable to read or write. One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.
Part storybook, part textbook, part historical overview, Parade of Faith in ebook format presents the history of Christianity in riveting fashion. Ruth Tucker adopts the metaphor of a parade, journey, or pilgrimage to explore the history of Christianity, which began as the Messiah marched out of the pages of the Old Testament and will end one day when “the saints go marching in” to the New Jerusalem. The book is divided into two chronological groupings: first, the advent of Christianity until the German and Swiss Reformations; second, the Anabaptist movement and Catholic Reformation until the present-day worldwide expansion of the church. Yet, ultimately the topic matter is not movements, dates, or a stream of facts, but instead people—people who still have stories to tell other Christians. And with a little help from clues to their own contexts, they can still speak clearly today. This book is laid out systematically to showcase the biographies of such prominent figures within their historical settings. The pages are peppered with sidebars, historical “what if” questions, explorations of relevant topics for today, personal reflections, illustrations, and lists for further reading. Parade of Faith is an excellent introduction for undergraduate students and interested lay readers.
'All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well' Julian of Norwich is one of the most celebrated figures of the English Middle Ages. She is esteemed as one of the subtlest writers and profoundest thinkers of the period for her account of the revelations that she experienced in 1373. Julian lived as an anchoress in Norwich, and after recovering from a serious illness she described the visions that had come to her during her suffering. She conceived of a loving and compassionate God, merciful and forgiving, and believed in our ability to reach self-knowledge through sin. She wrote of God as our mother, and embraced strikingly independent theological opinions. This new translation conveys the poise and serenity of Julian's prose style to the modern reader. It includes both the short and long texts, written twenty years apart, through which Julian developed her ideas. In his introduction Barry Windeatt considers Julian's astonishingly positive vision of humanity and its potential for spiritual transformation. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
The Christian mystics open our eyes to a world beyond this world, to the world of the spirit and of God, of whom they had a direct knowledge and experience, obtained chiefly through prayer, meditation and contemplation. The purpose of this book is to introduce the general reader to the fifteenth century English mystic, Margery Kempe of Lynn in Norfolk, as seen against her religious, social and historical background, with chapters on her spiritual and devotional life, her home town of Lynn, her encounters with the clergy, her vow of chastity, her pilgrimages, her trials for heresy and her conformity to the customs, faith and doctrines of the church of her day. As a former teacher at King's Lynn High School, Margaret Gallyon acquired a considerable knowledge of the town of Lynn and the surrounding district. It was here too that she first became interested in Margery Kempe, one of Lynn's most fascinating medieval citizens.