The Voices of Medieval English Lyric: An Anthology of Poems ca 1150–1530 (Paperback)
What was the medieval English lyric? Moving beyond the received understanding of the genre, The Voices of Medieval English Lyric explores, through analysis, discussion, and demonstration, what the term "lyric" most meaningfully implies in a Middle English context. A critical edition of 131 poems that illustrate the range and rich variety of lyric poetry from the mid-twelfth century to the early sixteenth century, The Voices of Medieval English Lyric presents its texts - freshly edited from the manuscripts - in thirteen sections emphasizing contrasting and complementary voices and genres. As well as a selection of religious poetry, the collection includes a high proportion of secular lyrics, many on love and sexuality, both earnest and humorous. In general, major authors who have been covered thoroughly elsewhere are excluded from the edited texts, but some, especially Chaucer, are quoted or mentioned as illuminating comparisons. Charles d'Orléans and the Scots poets Robert Henryson and William Dunbar add an extra-national dimension to a single-language collection. Textual and thematic notes are provided, as well as versions of the poems in Latin or French when these exist. Adopting new perspectives, The Voices of Medieval English Lyric offers an up-to-date, accessible, and distinctive take on Middle English poetry.
Anne L. Klinck is professor emerita at the University of New Brunswick and the author of The Old English Elegies: A Critical Edition and Genre Study and Woman's Songs in Ancient Greece.
"This edition of a selection of medieval English lyrics is informative and admirably wide-ranging. I finished reading this book with a sense that I’d been given a comprehensive overview of the field by a trustworthy guide." Julia Boffey, Queen Mary University of London