Author, Scribe, and Book in Late Medieval English Literature
Title Details

238 Pages

21.6 x 13.8 cm

3 b/w. Illustrations

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

Author, Scribe, and Book in Late Medieval English Literature

by Rory G. Critten

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
The works of four major fifteenth-century writers re-examined, showing their innovative reconceptualization of Middle English authorship and the manuscript book.
Thomas Hoccleve, Margery Kempe, John Audelay and Charles d'Orléans present themselves as the makers not only of their texts, but also of the books that transmitted their writing. This new study argues that they elaborated a "self-publishing pose" with the aim of regaining their audiences' confidence in the face of the compromised social, physical and material conditions they inhabited. Dr Critten shows that while the strategies of self-presentation that these authors develop draw on trends in contemporary literature and book history (such as the proliferation of the "go, litel bok" motif and the increasing popularity of the single-author codex), their approach to writing differs fundamentally from that pursued by their immediate predecessors, Chaucer and Gower, and by their most prominent peer, Lydgate. Rather, in their unusual insistence on their co-identity with their manuscripts, they demonstrate a new awareness of the socially instrumental potential of Middle English writing.

RORY G. CRITTEN is a Maître d'enseignement et de recherche (lecturer) in the English Department at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.
INTRODUCTION: TOWARDS A HISTORY OF THE SELF-PUBLISHING POSE
"YIT FUL FAYN WOLDE I HAUE A MESSAGEER TO RECOMMANDE ME": Thomas Hoccleve's Autograph Books in Fifteenth-Century London and Westminster
"HE RED IT OUYR...SCHE SUM-TYM HELPYNG":Collaborating on the Book of Margery Kempe
"THIS BOKE I MADE WITH GRET DOLOUR": The Pains of Writing in John the Blind Audelay's Poems and Carols
"CONSIDERING THE GRETE SUBTILITE AND CAUTELEUX DISPOSITION OF THE SAID DUC OF ORLIANS": The Political Valence of Charles d'Orléans's English Book of Love
Afterword
Bibliography
"Critten adds considerable nuance to established literary-critical positions, and frequently offers fresh insights which no student of Middle English literature should ignore." MEDIUM AEVUM
"Critten does demonstrate an alert literary intelligence and he offers much sensitive literary analysis" TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
"[...] a careful, considered book on an important and understudied topic. Critten succeeds in placing manuscript studies at the heart of literary interpretation. Author, Scribe, and Book contributes substantially to this important field of study." MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW
"In general Author, Scribe and Book lives up to the promises of its title. As a study of 'late medieval English literature' that incorporates excursions into biography and palaeography and analyses of Latin and French texts, it demonstrates the disconnectedness of fifteenth-century writing, an aspect that literary histories tend to downplay." PARERGON
"At its core, Author, Scribe, and Book offers inventive and significant readings of these authors' texts and the manuscripts that contain them." SPECULUM
"The book is well-written, interesting, carefully argued, discriminating in its up-to-date scholarship, and has an interesting main thesis." JOURNAL OF THE EARLY BOOK SOCIETY
"Critten's study is a most welcome addition to the ever-growing body of scholarly works which consider the authorial voice in Middle English from a variety of angles. His analysis is clear and incisive, and pays close attention to codicological and palaeographical detail" ANGLIA

Hardcover

9781843845058

October 2018

Buy

$99.00 / £60.00

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Ebook (EPUB)

9781787444195

October 2018

£19.99 / $24.99

Unavailable

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Ebook (EPDF)

9781787444188

October 2018

Buy

£19.99 / $24.99

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Title Details

238 Pages

2.16 x 1.38 cm

3 b/w. Illustrations

Imprint: D.S.Brewer