Medievalism, Multilingualism, and Chaucer

by Mary Catherine Davidson

Palgrave Macmillan | December 15, 2009 | Hardcover

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Medievalism, Multilingualism, and Chaucer examines multilingual identity in the writing of Gower, Langland, and Chaucer. Mary Catherine Davidson traces monolingual habits of inquiry to nineteenth-century attitudes toward French, which had first influenced popular constructions of medieval English in such historical novels as Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. In re-reading medieval traditions in the origins of English from Geoffrey of Monmouth, this book describes how multilingual practices reflected attitudes toward English in the age of Chaucer.

 

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 3.3 × 2.23 × 0.26 in

Published: December 15, 2009

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0230602975

ISBN - 13: 9780230602977

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– More About This Product –

Medievalism, Multilingualism, and Chaucer

by Mary Catherine Davidson

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 3.3 × 2.23 × 0.26 in

Published: December 15, 2009

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0230602975

ISBN - 13: 9780230602977

About the Book

"Medievalism, Multilingualism, and Chaucer" examines multilingual identity in the writing of Gower, Langland, and Chaucer. Mary Catherine Davidson traces monolingual habits of inquiry to nineteenth-century attitudes toward French, which had first influenced popular constructions of medieval English in such historical novels as Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe." In re-reading medieval traditions in the origins of English from Geoffrey of Monmouth, this book describes how multilingual practices reflected attitudes toward English in the age of Chaucer.

Table of Contents

Introduction:  Monolingualism and Middle English * Traditions of Contact and Conflict in the History of English * Medievalism and Monolingualism * Hengist's Tongue: A Medieval History of Middle English * "And in Latyn . . . a wordes fewe": Contact and Medieval Conformity * Multilingual Writing and William Langland * Chaucer's "Diversite" * Afterword: Postcolonialism and Chaucer's English

From the Publisher

Medievalism, Multilingualism, and Chaucer examines multilingual identity in the writing of Gower, Langland, and Chaucer. Mary Catherine Davidson traces monolingual habits of inquiry to nineteenth-century attitudes toward French, which had first influenced popular constructions of medieval English in such historical novels as Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. In re-reading medieval traditions in the origins of English from Geoffrey of Monmouth, this book describes how multilingual practices reflected attitudes toward English in the age of Chaucer.

 

About the Author

Mary Catherine Davidson is an associate professor of English at Glendon College, York University.

Editorial Reviews

“Davidson has provided an energetic and lively book that draws attention to the monolingual and gendered biases in much Anglophone criticism of the middle ages. Her hard-hitting, but always deeply reflective and courteous assault on what she terms ‘anglo-monolingualism’ sees it as informed by masculinist assumptions about literacy and the wielding of cultural power through that linguistic investment. With an approach taken from linguistics, she valuably draws attention to the sophisticated use of code-switching in Chaucer and Langland and to the modern prejudices that have seen these practices as univocally ‘English’. She will prompt much rethinking of the ways in which modern scholars approach the linguistic habits of medieval English authors.”--Ardis Butterfield, Professor of English, University College London “With an eye on recent efforts to establish English as the sole official language of the U.S.A, Davidson offers a spirited critique of the monolingual paradigms that underpin the modern conception of Middle English literature. Drawing on sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, gender studies, and post-colonial studies, Davidson explores the multilingual complexities of the writings of Gower, Langland, and Chaucer to reveal a dynamic code-switching culture. Medievalism, Multilingualism, and Chaucer is a forceful challenge to the celebration of ‘the triumph of English’ which has been such an important part of Anglo-Ame
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