E 392M • Late Medieval Literary London
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
This course investigates the literary productions of late medieval London (roughly, 1380-1532) and the various cultures in which such literature emerges and to which these works attest. Reading material by Chaucer, Gower, Langland, the Gawain-poet, Hoccleve, Usk, Caxton, and deWorde we will look at these London productions in relation to merchantile, courtly, bureaucratic, scribal, bookshop, and print cultures. Crucially important will be the textual forms in which these literary works survive and are disseminated. Therefore we will attend not only to the production of such material - how the conditions of production shaped the texts in this late medieval metropolis - but also the consumption of such texts in this environment. We will thus also read popular texts written earlier, like the romances, out of important manuscripts produced in this period. Instead of organizing the course exclusively around particular writers, we will instead also be oriented around different manuscripts and books: the Auchinleck MS, the Findern MS, Speght's 1532 edition of Chaucer's Works, among others.
Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
Langland, Piers Plowman
Gower, Vox Clamantis, Confessio Amantis
Sir Gawain the Green Knight
Usk, Testament of Love
Caxton, Prologues and Epilogues
Lydgate, "London Lickpenny"