The fourteenth-century Piers Plowman is one of the most influential poems from the Age of Chaucer. Following the character Will on his quest for the true Christian life, the three dream narratives that make up this work address a number of pressing political, social, moral, and educational issues of the late Middle Ages. Míceál F. Vaughan presents a fresh edition of the A version, an earlier and shorter version of this great work.
Unlike the B and C versions, there is no modern, affordable edition of the A version available. For the first time in decades, students and scholars of medieval literature now have access to this important work. Vaughan's clean, uncluttered text is accompanied by ample glossing of difficult Middle English words. An expansive introduction, which includes a narrative summary of the poem, textual notes, detailed endnotes, and a select bibliography frame the text, making this edition ideal for classroom use.
This is the first classroom edition of the A version since Thomas A. Knott and David C. Fowler's celebrated 1952 publication. Based on an early-fifteenth-century manuscript from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library, Vaughan's text offers a unique rendition of the poem, and it is the first modern edition not to attribute the poem to William Langland. By conservatively editing one important witness of Piers Plowman, Vaughan takes a new generation of students to an early version of this great medieval poem.