Chaucer, Gower, Hoccleve and the Commercial Practices of Late Fourteenth-century London

Chaucer, Gower, Hoccleve and the Commercial Practices of Late Fourteenth-century London

eBook - 2012
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Examining archival documents and literary texts, this book focuses on the practices of buying and selling in medieval London by examining how commercial issues are reflected in Chaucer, Gower, and Hoccleve. Craig Bertolet reads specific Canterbury tales and pilgrims associated with trade alongside Gower's Mirour de L'Omme and Confessio Amantis, and works by Hoccleve, to demonstrate how destabilizing trade was to London and how this instability produced narratives about trade.

Taylor
& Francis Publishing

As residents of fourteenth-century London, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, and Thomas Hoccleve each day encountered aspects of commerce such as buying, selling, and worrying about being cheated. Many of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales address how pervasive the market had become in personal relationships. Gower's writings include praises of the concept of trade and worries that widespread fraud has harmed it. Hoccleve's poetry examines the difficulty of living in London on a slender salary while at the same time being subject to all the temptations a rich market can provide. Each writer finds that principal tensions in London focused on commerce - how it worked, who controlled it, how it was organized, and who was excluded from it. Reading literary texts through the lens of archival documents and the sociological theories of Pierre Bourdieu, this book demonstrates how the practices of buying and selling in medieval London shaped the writings of Chaucer, Gower, and Hoccleve. Craig Bertolet constructs a framework that reads specific Canterbury tales and pilgrims associated with trade alongside Gower's Mirour de L'Omme and Confessio Amantis, and Hoccleve's Male Regle and Regiment of Princes. Together, these texts demonstrate how the inherent instability commerce produces also produces narratives about that commerce.

Book News
Bertolet (Auburn U., US) examines how the three contemporary London-based writers discuss the pervasive force of commerce in their literary narratives, which allowed them to speculate on behavioral practices with fictional characters representing these practices. He covers the commercial polity, buying and markets, debts and credit, shopkeeping, and inkeepers and hospitality trade. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Burlington, VT : Ashgate, ©2012
ISBN: 9781409448433
1409448436
9781409448426
1409448428
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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