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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
April 2023
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Book description

This collection makes a new, profound and far-reaching intervention into the rich yet little-explored terrain between Latin scholastic theory and vernacular literature. Written by a multidisciplinary team of leading international authors, the chapters honour and advance Alastair Minnis's field-defining scholarship. A wealth of expert essays refract the nuances of theory through the medium of authoritative Latin and vernacular medieval texts, providing fresh interpretative treatment to known canonical works while also bringing unknown materials to light.


‘Rich in insights into literate and pedagogic practices throughout the medieval period, generous in its bibliographical reach, this volume is altogether worthy of its distinguished honorand. While directing attention to influential but still under-studied figures such as Bromyard and Holcot, the volume as a whole asks the big questions about relationships between scholasticism and vernacular knowledge, focusing in particular on diverse translations of authority between Latin, French and English. It is also valuable for the nuanced awareness, shared by all its contributors, of the silences and uncertainties surrounding some of the relationships between theory and literary practice in this period. It triumphantly demonstrates the continuing validity and impact of the essay collection in advancing knowledge in a research field of enduring vitality.'

Mishtooni Bose - University of Oxford

‘Lovers of literary learning appreciate nothing so much as theory that locks into and illuminates literature. Alastair Minnis not only excavated a vast field of such lucid theory, but taught the rest of us how to dig. The wonderfully rich essays by accomplished scholars in this volume bring a great deal more to the surface, to exhilarating effect.'

James Simpson - Harvard University

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