This translation of Piers Plowman is easy to read and helpful against the original text if you are struggling with that. Perhaps it can be read too quickly and the historical background somewhat glided over without the thought which it deserves. Certainly a good introduction to the work for newcomers. An interesting book to have on your shelf beside a critical edition of the B-Text.
The Vision of Piers Plowman is a marvellous work. It is filled with pictures of mediaeval life in which human behave exactly as they do today. It has beautiful language and moral arguments that still remain open in the 21st Century. The Schmidt translation (prose) is the clearest I have found, bringing the text to life in a colloquial manner and including excellent notes.
This is a translation of the medieval poem 'Piers Plowman', by William Langland; though a clerk by day at night Langland worked on his masterpiece of comic farce with a view to eventually rivalling Chaucer as the King of Farce in literary England. He succeeds admirably, and this is brought out in Schmidt's rollicking rendition (as announced in the introduction, this is a work "to be read aloud") which really enhances the comedy of such lines as "Thou'rt too slow, my simple donkey/ I would thou were become a monkey!", where the off-rhyme only adds to our appreciation of this comic genius. Schmidt should be applauded for his daring in tackling such a popular poem, and choosing to enhance the readability of such an old text with his ear for modern english: I would recommend this book to anyone interested in bar brawls, loose women and simple good fun (though not always clean!). Another classic from the Master.
Enjoyable and informative. I got even more from this book than I expected. Piers is everymans hero of faith with his charge to "do well" in this world. Which shelf to put it on - Medieval or Religous literature? All Christians should read it.