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Chaucer to Spenser An Anthology: An Anthology of Writing in English, 1375-1575 (Blackwell Anthologies) Paperback – 22 Nov 1998
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"The true proof of an anthology is its classroom performance. . .Pearsall′s smorgasbord of short extracts, dressed with first–rate contextualizing commentary and references to just the right secondary literature, inspire much independent investigation and a joyous crop of non– repetitive termpapers." "Above all, it is a pleasure to work with a volume annotated from a lifetimes′s learning and leavened by rare, companionable humour. Many moments linger." Medium Aevum
From the Back Cover
In this key anthology Derek Pearsall offers a radically new approach to those teaching and studying English writing from Geoffrey Chaucer to the early work of Edmund Spenser. Ignoring the traditional barrier between medieval, or Middle English, and Tudor, Elizabethan or "early modern" writing, he sets out to emphasize continuities and so counter the distorting view that "English literature" begins with Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of Surrey.
Extensive coverage is given to key figures such as Chaucer and Langland, but this is not an anthology of English literature, but of writing. All forms of discursive writing – literary, political, legal, personal, polemic, spiritual, practical – are represented in an attempt to demonstrate the close mesh between writing, of all kinds, and the political, social and cultural practice of the time. The assumption of the collection is that written texts, though they may be analyzed from many points of view, including some that are legitimately ahistorical, are never better understood than when studied in their historical context.
All texts are newly edited from the best sources and presented in their original spelling (apart from the substitution of obsolete letter–forms). On–the–page glossaries throughout give help with harder words. Headnotes and explanatory notes are provided for each text.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 2 reviews
not the anthology
25 September 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
One person found this helpful.
Take note! This is not the similarly titled Chaucer to Spenser Anthology (which contains literary selections) but a critical reader, i.e essays about Chaucer, Langland, and so on. I am sure they are fine scholarship, and I may yet read them one day, but they are not what I expected or needed. Next time I will pay more attention to getting the exact title right...
Great comprehensive anthology, but in small print
17 August 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
One person found this helpful.
I bought this anthology when I was studying for my comprehensive exams. It is an excellent "greatest hits + a little more" anthology -- there are some nice unexpected additions, such as the poems from the Findern MS. I think you get a good sense of the edited, published literature available from the time period. However, the one drawback to the anthology (same is true of the Blackwell Medieval drama) is the extraordinarily small print! The pages are much thicker than the Norton, which is nice, but the text is extremely small. Aside from that, I think this is a good collection for teachers or students of the period.