Antimercantilism in Late Medieval English Literature

Hardcover | September 15, 2010

byRoger A. Ladd

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Antimercantilism in Late Medieval English Literature documents the trajectory of antimercantile ideology under the pressures of the major developments made in economic theory and practice in the later Middle Ages. Roger A. Ladd skillfully explores the relationship between ideology and subjectivity surrounding a single class/estate group and its characteristic sins in the context of literary texts influenced by estates satire. This book focuses in depth on both large works by well-known authors and lesser-studied works, including The Canterbury Tales, Piers Plowman, Mirour de l’Omme, The Book of Margery Kempe, The York Plays, The Libelle of Englyshe Polycye, “The Childe of Bristowe,” and the Pseudo-Chaucerian “Tale of Beryn.”

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Antimercantilism in Late Medieval English Literature documents the trajectory of antimercantile ideology under the pressures of the major developments made in economic theory and practice in the later Middle Ages. Roger A. Ladd skillfully explores the relationship between ideology and subjectivity surrounding a single class/estate grou...

Roger A. Ladd is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Theatre at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He has published articles on merchant and guild connections to literature in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:230 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.56 inPublished:September 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230620434

ISBN - 13:9780230620438

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Table of Contents

An Introduction to Late Medieval English Literary Merchants * Langland’s Merchants and the Material and Spiritual Economies of Piers Plowman * The Mirour de l’Omme and Gower’s London Merchants * The Deliberate Ambiguity of Chaucer’s Anxious Merchants * Mercantile Voices of the Early Fifteenth Century * The Mercers, Civic Power, and Charity in the York Cycle * From Finchale to York: Are Merchants Respectable by 1500?

Editorial Reviews

"Ladd has provided us with a clear and thorough overview of merchant attitudes found in literature in the Late Middle Ages. This is an important foundational reading that now allows us to set off with all sorts of interesting questions."--The Medieval Review“Ladd’s is the first fresh re-thinking of the roles merchants play in late medieval English writing in at least forty years—if not the first ever to do so systematically and comprehensively. There are many dots to connect in the story he wants to tell, and his scholarly range abets him to link nearly all into a persuasive narrative drawn from the historical record and the literary canon. What he seeks in the authors he scrutinizes—some great, like Chaucer, Gower, and Langland, some anonymous or only dimly known, like the writers of the York cycle of mystery plays—is the presentation of the true ‘mercantile voice,’ unfiltered through established (and hence distorting) lenses. Ladd’s readings are even-handed, original and, time and again, spot on. Few will pick up this book and put it down uninformed.”— RF Yeager, University of West Florida