Reading Dreams contains seven new essays, based on new research, on the representation and interpretation of medieval and Renaissance dreams. The textual focus is both literary and non-literary. Chaucer and Shakespeare are important reference-points, while Langland, the Pearl-poet and Miltonreceive significant coverage. Diaries, philosophical texts, polemical writings, works on dream theory and medical treatises are also extensively used. The methodology is a mixture of close reading, detailed comparison and contextualising. Theoretical approaches are drawn from Freud, anthropology,social history and gender studies as well as from literary criticism. This is the first time that English-speaking scholars have collaborated to produce a book about medieval and Renaissance dreams. Their essays are designed to develop innovative and novel approaches of a variety and range possible only in a specially commissioned collection of essays. At the sametime, there are recurrent preoccupations, such as the relationship of theory to text, and the status of dreams as historical evidence. The authors open up new areas of enquiry, and suggest and exemplify possible approaches. In so doing, and by including three scholars who have written acclaimedworks on medieval dreams (A. C. Spearing, Kathryn Lynch and Steven Kruger), Reading Dreams will provide an authoritative advance on previous studies. It also represents a new departure by extending the debate across the medieval and Renaissance periods.