Introduction. 1. Technology.
The Rise of English.3. Statecraft.
Cities and Towns.
The Way or the Street.5. Jurisdiction.
Resources for Research.
Christopher Cannon, Fellow of Girton College and University Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge
"Christopher Cannon's latest book makes one fall in love with
Middle English literature all over again. The book ... - I am
convinced - will endure as one of the most cogent, sophisticated,
and delightful introductions to English medieval literary
"This is a scintillating cultural history of Middle English
literature, punctuated throughout with critical insights ...
Cannon's succinct and vivid style allows him to introduce striking
bits of philosophical or cultural theory alongside descriptions of
crucial technological innovations ... equipped with its
bibliographical guides and timeline, Medieval English
Literature achieves the enviable aim of providing the student
with both a cultural history and plenty of original literary
"Following in the distinguished footsteps of Derek Pearsall and
James Simpson, Christopher Cannon offers an exhilarating grand tour
of Middle English literature. Cannon's writing is not just
efficient but also elegant and pithy. His aphorisms condense knotty
arguments and enact complex critical positions with unusual poise
and insight. But underpinning his approach throughout is a
philologist's ability to listen attentively to the voices of the
pages, to display what Nietzsche called 'the leisurely art of the
goldsmith applied to language'."
Vincent Gillespie, University of Oxford