Documentary Culture and the Making of Medieval English Literature (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 50)

Documentary Culture and the Making of Medieval English Literature (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 50)

By: Emily Steiner (author)Hardback

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Emily Steiner describes the rich intersections between legal documents and English literature in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The literature of this period, from Passion lyrics to Lollard sermons, abounds in documentary language and metaphors. Steiner argues that documentary culture (including charters, testaments, patents and seals) enabled writers to think in new ways about the conditions of textual production in late medieval England. She explains that the distinctive rhetoric, material form and ritual performance of legal documents offered writers of Chaucer's generation and the generation succeeding him a model of literary practice. Covering a wide variety of medieval texts: sermons, lyrics, Piers Plowman, Mum and the Sothsegger, The Book of Margery Kempe, heretical writings and trial records, this study will be of interest to scholars of medieval literary studies and medieval studies in general.

About Author

Emily Steiner is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the editor (with Candace Barrington) of The Letter of the Law: Legal Practice and Literary Production in Late Medieval England (2002).


Part I. Documentary Poetics: 1. Bracton, Deguileville and the defense of allegory; 2. Lyric, genre, and the material text; Part II. Langland's Documents: 3. Piers Plowman and the archive of salvation; 4. Writing public: documents in the Piers Plowman tradition; Part III. Identity, Heterodoxy, Documents: 5. Lollard community and the Charters of Christ; 6. Lollard rhetoric and the written record: Margery Baxter and William Thorpe; Epilogue: 'My lordys lettyr & the seel of Cawntyrbery'.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780521824842
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 286
  • ID: 9780521824842
  • weight: 590
  • ISBN10: 0521824842

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