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Reading Piers Plowman


Part of Reading Writers and their Work

  • Date Published: May 2013
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521687836

£ 20.99

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About the Authors
  • Reading 'Piers Plowman' is an indispensable scholarly guide to a magnificent - and notoriously difficult - medieval poem. With 'Piers Plowman', the fourteenth-century poet William Langland proved that English verse could be at once spiritually electrifying and intellectually rigorous, capable of imagining society in its totality while at the same time exploring heady ideas about language, theology and culture. In her study of Piers Plowman, Emily Steiner explores how Langland's ambitious poetics emerged in dialogue with contemporary ideas; for example, about political counsel and gender, the ethics of poverty, Christian and pagan learning, lordship and servitude, and the long history of Christianity. Lucid and comprehensive, Steiner's study teaches us to stay alert to the poem's stunning effects while still making sense of its literary and historical contexts.

    • An appealing and useful book for readers of all levels, following the order of the original poem
    • Offers innovative readings, grounded in the latest scholarship
    • Shows readers how to navigate Langland's difficult poetics and how to engage with his complex ideas about politics, piety and social reform
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This vigorous and ingenious reading of Piers Plowman manages in compressed compass to convey a wide range of ideas articulated by the poem, implied through its poetic strategies, and associated with late-medieval Christianity. Summing up: recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.' A. Galloway, Choice

    'In a world of texts that look to take readers through the whole of Piers Plowman, Steiner's contribution stands out as an ideal example. Historically grounded, accessible, engaging, and often exciting, it will no doubt prove a classroom staple. Students, instructors, and scholars will want to include this in their collections and will surely rely on it as a welcome resource with frequency and gratitude.' The Medieval Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521687836
    • length: 273 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Value
    3. Community
    4. Learning
    5. Practice
    6. Belief
    7. Institutions.

  • Author

    Emily Steiner, University of Pennsylvania
    Emily Steiner is Associate Professor of English Literature and an award-winning teacher at the University of Pennsylvania. She is presently co-editor (with Rebecca Davis and Lawrence Warner) of the Yearbook of Langland Studies. She is the author of Documentary Culture and the Making of Medieval English Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

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