Download An Introduction to Middle English (Edinburgh Textbooks on by Jeremy Smith, Simon Horobin PDF

By Jeremy Smith, Simon Horobin

In case you simply wish a few suggestions on analyzing Chaucer and different ME authors, this publication may not be where to begin. but when you will have extra easy details at the improvement of the language, interested in ME, from a linguistics technique, this can be a excellent source. I had no formal education in linguistics, yet loved buying many of the easy suggestions via this e-book. even if its therapy of ME will be fairly "formal," i discovered it available and applicable for my point and pursuits, which admittedly can be extra "academic" than the typical reader. it is a publication I continue coming again to.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Middle English (Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language)

Sample text

Beginning students may also find it helpful at the outset to read ME texts in translation. Still the best translation of The Canterbury Tales is Coghill’s verse rendering (1952) which, though not a substitute for the real thing, does give beginners an immediate flavour of Chaucer’s achievement. Bennett and Smithers (1974) is the best scholarly collection of EME texts yet produced. The literary and linguistic commentaries are excellent, but demand a high degree of philological knowledge and sophistication.

However, there were fluctuations and signs of new developments. The slump in population (from six to four million) following the Black Death in the fourteenth century meant social turbulence, a labour shortage and a consequent increase in prosperity for the remaining lower-class population, who could demand higher wages. The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, a direct response to a crude incomes policy known as the Statute of Labourers, is an important straw in the wind. Contemporary writers, as may be expected, reflect intimately the social concerns of their time.

Social fluidity encouraged the growth of towns and the appearance 02 pages 001-184 29/1/03 16:27 Page 29 MIDDLE ENGLISH IN USE 29 of a bourgeoisie – the word indicates in its etymology the key role of urbanisation – in the shape of an emerging royal bureaucracy and a rising mercantile class. The rise in the size and importance of London is the most distinctive feature of late medieval English society, but similar growth has also been noted in the population of other towns, such as York, Norwich, Oxford and Gloucester.

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