Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-gvh9x Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-23T22:01:08.047Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

15 - John Lydgate

from Part II - Authors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2009

Larry Scanlon
Affiliation:
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Get access

Summary

Study of the writings of John Lydgate offers attractive, multiple challenges for scholars of Middle English at all levels. Certainly the bibliographical and textual work on the Lydgate corpus done in the first half of the twentieth century made critical reassessment possible. And certainly the readiness of historicist scholarship, over the last twenty or so years, to define the cultural function of literary (and non-literary) texts has opened new paths to Lydgate's work. These paths were closed as long as New Criticism was the gatekeeper of scholarly interest, since Lydgate's many larger-scale works responded poorly to detailed formalist analysis. The correlative extension of interest in Middle English studies from the late fourteenth into (in one development at least) the fifteenth century has, further, prepared the ground for renewed consideration of Lydgate's oeuvre. Despite these enabling scholarly advances, the challenges offered by Lydgate remain under-exploited and attractive: consideration of so much of the large corpus remains inchoate, and, for those who enjoy the challenge of persuading readers that a previously ignored or dismissed text deserves attention, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had.

A brief bio-bibliography will help situate this writer. John Lydgate ( c. 1371-1449) was born in Lydgate, Suffolk, from which he took his name. He entered the Benedictine abbey of Bury St. Edmunds as a boy. Between 1389 and 1397 he passed through the range of orders from acolyte to priest. Lydgate is not recorded as having taken a degree, but he was certainly in Oxford at Gloucester College, c. 1406-8, possibly much longer. His connection with Prince Henry began before Henry's accession as Henry V in 1413: already in 1412 Lydgate began his ambitious narrative of the Trojan War, the Troy Book, finished in 1420.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • John Lydgate
  • Edited by Larry Scanlon, Rutgers University, New Jersey
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Literature 1100–1500
  • Online publication: 28 November 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521841672.016
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • John Lydgate
  • Edited by Larry Scanlon, Rutgers University, New Jersey
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Literature 1100–1500
  • Online publication: 28 November 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521841672.016
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • John Lydgate
  • Edited by Larry Scanlon, Rutgers University, New Jersey
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Literature 1100–1500
  • Online publication: 28 November 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521841672.016
Available formats
×