Winner and Waster and its Contexts
Title Details

208 Pages

21.6 x 13.8 cm

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

Winner and Waster and its Contexts

Chivalry, Law and Economics in Fourteenth-Century England

by W Mark Ormrod

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
First recent full-length analysis of a major medieval poem.
The late fourteenth-century English poem Winner and Waster narrates a debate between the forces of avarice (Winner) and generosity (Waster); it ranges widely over a number of major issues in the political life of England during Edward III's reign.
This book sets out to re-date the poem from the 1350s to the 1360s, and in so doing to question whether its principal message really revolves (as so much earlier scholarship has insisted) around the state of public order and the costs of warfare in the 1350s. Instead, it proposes that the poem echoes debates about Edward III's ability to maintain concord between the members of his household, to manage the extravagance in clothing that prompted the sumptuary laws of 1363, and to run his peace-time finances of the 1360s in such a way as to guarantee the solvency of the crown. Drawing extensively on the records of parliament and on contemporary chronicles, this volume sets Winner and Waster within the wider context of other complaint literature of the fourteenth century, and characterizes it as one of the most politically - and socially - engaged works of the period.
Acknowledgements
Note on Editions
List of Abbreviations
Introduction Winner and Waster: A Poem on the Times
Chivalry and Internationalism: The Garter Feast of 1358 and English Diplomacy during the 1350s and 1360s
Treason, Public Order and Dispute Settlement: the Statute of Treasons of 1352 and Royal Arbitration
Landed Society, Conspicuous Consumption and the Political Economy: The Sumptuary Laws of 1363
The Private and the Public Spheres: The Royal Household and State Finance under Edward III
Satire, Complaint and Authorship: Winner and Waster and the Alliterative Revival of the Fourteenth Century
Winner and Waster: Timeliness and Timelessness
Appendix 1: Timeline, 1337-1370
Appendix 2: A Modern English Version of Winner and Waster
Bibliography
Index

W M Ormrod is Professor of Medieval History at the University of York.

The late W. MARK ORMROD was Professor Emeritus of History at the University of York; he published extensively on later medieval history.

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February 2021

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Title Details

208 Pages

2.16 x 1.38 cm

Imprint: D.S.Brewer