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By Lynn Staley

''Lynn Staley?’s new booklet is proficient via a powerful command of center English tradition and is chockablock with new insights. Few students may well of-fer one of these wealthy war of words of literature and historical past for this crucial and specific period.'' ?—Ralph Hanna, Keble collage, Oxford

In this ebook the prestigious medievalist Lynn Staley turns her awareness to 1 of the main dramatic classes in English heritage, the reign of Richard II, as obvious via a variety of texts together with literary, political, chronicle, and pictorial.

Richard II, who governed from 1377 to 1399, succeeded to the throne as a baby after the fifty-year reign of Edward III, and located himself beset all through his reign by way of army, political, non secular, monetary, and social difficulties that might have attempted even the main expert of statesmen. while, those years observed a few of England?’s such a lot proficient courtly writers, between them Chaucer and Gower, who have been keenly attuned to the political machinations erupting round them.

In Languages of energy within the Age of Richard II Staley doesn't rather a lot ''read'' literature via background as supply a fashion of ''reading'' heritage via its refractions in literature. In essence, the textual content either isolates and lines what's an exact look for a language of strength through the reign of Richard II and scrutinizes the ways that Chaucer and different courtly writers participated in those makes an attempt to articulate the concept that of princely strength. As person who took it upon himself to touch upon a few of the potential wherein heritage is made, Chaucer emerges from Staley?’s narrative as a poet with no peer.

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In the original version, his praise for Richard’s justice, piety, mercy, and virtue outlines the ethics of the good king and thus becomes a species of advisory rhetoric. In this other version, Gower addresses not the king but the country, suggesting that the Confessio is more than a “mirror” for princes. The genre of the miroir is firmly tied to a concept of ethical kingship and thus to the possibility that poets and their texts are active participants in a type of educative dialogue. But Gower’s changes suggest that such a poem might have more than one audience, as indeed the Confessio did.

Richard, as Gower’s “liege lord,” bids him into the barge, where he goes on to charge the poet to write Staley, Languages of Power 10/15/04 12:03 PM Page 17 The Hawk on the Wrist and the Fool in the Chimney Corner [17] some “newe thing” for him to read. 23 Similarly, in the F prologue to the Legend of Good Women, which was written about the same time as the Confessio (and possibly in a spirit of collaborative competition24), Chaucer presents himself as one who occupies a hierarchically defined position within a highly mannered courtly society.

It was copied nearly 250 times, and 53 of these manuscripts have a medieval English origin 46. J. Simpson, Sciences and the Self, 21 1–29. See also Alastair Minnis, “‘Moral Gower’ and Medieval Literary Theory,” in Gower’s Confessio Amantis, ed. Minnis, 71–78. 47. See Samuel P. , New York: AMS Press, 1966), introduction. 50 The De regimine principium not only elaborates a theory of secular absolutism for the common good but also locates civil order in the authority of the wellordered prince. Giles organized the book into a tripartite structure that epitomized the three authoritative Aristotelian texts of instruction: the Ethics, the Politics, and the pseudo-Aristotelian Economics.

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