Chaucer, Gower, And The Vernacular Rising: Poetry And The Problem Of The Populace After 1381 by Lynn Arner

Chaucer, Gower, And The Vernacular Rising: Poetry And The Problem Of The Populace After 1381

byLynn Arner

Paperback | April 11, 2013

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Chaucer, Gower, and the Vernacular Rising examines the transmission of Greco-Roman and European literature into English during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, while literacy was burgeoning among men and women from the nonruling classes. This dissemination offered a radically democratizing potential for accessing, interpreting, and deploying learned texts. Focusing primarily on an overlooked sector of Chaucer’s and Gower’s early readership, namely, the upper strata of nonruling urban classes, Lynn Arner argues that Chaucer’s and Gower’s writings engaged in elaborate processes of constructing cultural expertise. These writings helped define gradations of cultural authority, determining who could contribute to the production of legitimate knowledge and granting certain socioeconomic groups political leverage in the wake of the English Rising of 1381. Chaucer, Gower, and the Vernacular Rising simultaneously examines Chaucer’s and Gower’s negotiations—often articulated at the site of gender—over poetics and over the roles that vernacular poetry should play in the late medieval English social formation. This study investigates how Chaucer’s and Gower’s texts positioned poetry to become a powerful participant in processes of social control.

About The Author

Lynn Arner is Associate Professor of English and of Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock University in Canada. Lynn Arner is Associate Professor of English and of Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock University in Canada.

Details & Specs

Title:Chaucer, Gower, And The Vernacular Rising: Poetry And The Problem Of The Populace After 1381Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.58 inPublished:April 11, 2013Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271058943

ISBN - 13:9780271058948

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Chaucer’s and Gower’s Early Readership Expanded

2 Against the Greyness of the Multitude: Poetry, Prestige, and the Confessio Amantis

3 Time After Time: Historiography and Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

4 In Defense of Cupid: Poetics, Gender, and the Legend of Good Women

5 Chaucer on the Effects of Poetry

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“This study represents a welcome consideration of two major poets’ responses to a moment of substantial social upheaval, suggesting provocatively that the Rising had important ramifications for English literary culture not only in its own time, but also for the present day. Arner’s book will be of interest to the many scholars invested in the legacies of 1381, as well as those interested more broadly in the interplay of poetry, politics, and literacy in later medieval England. This book also invites further work on classical reception among the growing ranks of nonelite readers during this period, an exciting endeavor that Arner’s study proves can produce stimulating results.”—Leah Klement, Speculum