The Afterlife of Middle English Literature

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Concise Companion to Middle English Literature|A Concise Companion to Middle Engl. Lit.
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009


  • 1700-1870 - revival, turning away from models and search for alternative in something indigenous to Britain
  • 1870 to present - expansion and consolidation
  • Afterlife of Middle English literature
  • Belief in instructive capacity of old literature - closely allied to belief in its propagandist value
  • Chaucer surpassing Gower and Lydgate as pre-eminent medieval English poet
  • Concerns about poet's now-archaic language - nevertheless, frequent
  • Middle English literature - appeal of the otherness of Middle English
  • Middle English literature and connections with current preoccupations
  • Seventeenth century - decline
  • sixteenth century survivals - level of interest in middle English literature

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