Print Culture and the Medieval Author: Chaucer, Lydgate, and Their Books 1473-1557
Print Culture and the Medieval Author is a book about books. Examining hundreds of early printed books and their late medieval analogues, Alexandra Gillespie writes a bibliographical history of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer and his follower John Lydgate in the century after the arrival of printing in England. Her study is an important new contribution to the emerging 'sociology of the text' in English literary and historical studies. At the centre of this study is a familiar question: what is an author? The idea of the vernacular writer was already contested and unstable in medieval England; Gillespie demonstrates that in the late Middle Ages it was also a way for book producers and readers to mediate the risks - commercial, political, religious, and imaginative - involved in the publication of literary texts. Gillespie's discussion focuses on the changes associated with the shift to print, scribal precedents for these changes, and contemporary understanding of them. The treatment of texts associated with Chaucer and Lydgate is an index to the sometimes flexible, sometimes resistant responses of book printers, copyists, decorators, distributors, patrons, censors, owners, and readers to a gradual but profoundly influential bibliographical transition. The research is conducted across somewhat intractable boundaries. Gillespie writes about medieval and modern history; about manuscript and print; about canonical and marginal authors; about literary works and books as objects. In the process, she finds new meanings for some medieval vernacular texts and a new place for some old books in a history of English culture.
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1 Caxton and FifteenthCentury English Books
Printing and Innovation after 1478
3 Assembling Chaucers Texts in Print 1517 to 1532
Editions of Lydgate 1509 to 1534
5 The Press the Medieval Author and the English Reformations 1534 to 1557
At Lydgates Tomb
Index of Manuscripts
Index of Printed Editions Texts Ascribed to Chaucer and Lydgate 14731557
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Ages appears argued ascribed authorship bibliographical British Library Cambridge Canterbury Caxton century chapter Chaucer Chaucerian close collection College containing context copy court culture described discussion earl early edition Edwards England English evidence Fall of Princes fiction fifteenth fifteenth-century Figure hand Harley Henry House of Fame Huntington Library ideas IMEV important John king late Latin linked literary London Lydgate Lydgate’s manuscript material meaning medieval author Middle noble Oxford Parliament patron perhaps period pilgrimage poem poet political presentation printed books printer production promote Prouerbes Pynson quarto readers Reformation Renaissance Reproduced Richard Tottel Robert royal San Marino says scribe sort story suggests Tale textual Thomas trade tradition translation Troilus Troy Book Tudor University Press vernacular verse woodcut Worde’s writes Wynkyn de Worde