Author Archives: Ian Cornelius

The form of the Lay Folks’ Catechism

The Lay Folks’ Catechism, alliterative verse, and cursus [abstract] The Lay Folks’ Catechism is an English rendering of injunctions issued in 1357 by John Thoresby, Archbishop of York, setting forth the elements of Christian belief. Ever since W. W. Skeat’s … Continue reading

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Editing scribal texts

Jim Knowles and I are organizing a session on “Editing scribal texts” at the next meeting of the International Piers Plowman Society, to be held 4-7 April 2019 in Miami, FL. Details and instructions will be posted soon at the … Continue reading

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Boethius at the Newberry Library

In winter quarter of 2019 I will teach a 10-week seminar on “Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy and Its Afterlife” at the Newberry Library in Chicago. This course is open to graduate students at any of the consortium institutions of the … Continue reading

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The B Version Archetype

My essay-length review of John Burrow and Thorlac Turville-Petre, eds., The “Piers Plowman” Electronic Archive, Vol. 9: The B-Version Archetype will appear in the Yearbook of Langland Studies 32. Here is the abstract: The B-Version Archetype, published on-line by the Piers … Continue reading

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The earliest English poetry

[English 390, offered Spring 2018] In English, as in other languages, poetry was at first an oral form: it was passed down in recitation, not writing. The Anglo-Saxons (that is, the English-speaking inhabitants of early medieval Britain) learned to write … Continue reading

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Lawmen and Plowmen

From my review of Stephen M. Yeager, From Lawmen to Plowmen: Anglo-Saxon Legal Tradition and the School of Langland (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014): What did Old English literature contribute to the literary cultures of post-Conquest England? The question has … Continue reading

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dreams and visions

“I dreamt a marvelous dream. Let me tell you about it.” That is the opening move in many of the greatest works of medieval literature; such works are called “dream visions.” Rooted ultimately in the Bible and ancient philosophy, dream … Continue reading

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“Piers Plowman” and the Books of Nature

Rebecca Davis’s new book “Piers Plowman” and the Books of Nature appeared last year from Oxford University Press. I have reviewed the book for The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, and reproduce the opening paragraph of my review here. Classroom discussion … Continue reading

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Reconstructing Alliterative Verse

Alliterative poetry is first recorded in English from the late seventh century, which makes it the oldest poetry in this language. Surviving poems include Cædmon’s Hymn, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Piers Plowman, several of the most admired works … Continue reading

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Reframing Medieval Bodies

Loyola University Chicago will host the 2018 meeting of the Illinois Medieval Association. Our call for papers is out now: REFRAMING MEDIEVAL BODIES 35th Annual Meeting of the Illinois Medieval Association Loyola University Chicago, Watertower Campus, 16-17 Februrary, 2018 a … Continue reading

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