Sunday, 25 September 2011

I Love Lydgate

Sorry this blog has nothing to do with leprosy. I have officially had enough of the Lydgate haters. I like John Lydgate, but every time I read some Lydgate and like it I fell like I should apologise for it, like it is a dirty habit. I find his writing perhaps lacks the flair of Chaucer, but because of that most medievalists seem happy to dismiss him altogether...should all music from the 60s thats not The Beatles be dismissed, left unlistened to on a shelf? Should all romantic poetry thats not Wordsworth not be bothered with? Don't get me wrong I love Chaucer and shall forever be in his debt as the Book of the Duchess was my first introduction to Medieval poetry. But if people are allowed a love of Shelley or The Kinks why is it so awful that I love Lydgate? I can only assume it is a snobbery about his style of writing, and his habit for very long books. I think the issue here is how people read wouldn't attempt to read the Bible in one go so why would you try to read the Fall of Princes in one go? Also why only read the Fall of Princes...yes its Lydgate's best known work but since when does fame make a work the best? So in conclusion I love Lydgate and I don't care who knows it!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Jacob's Well

Jacob's Well is another religious manual...that currently holds the title for most disgusting story involving leprosy in Middle English.

A bishop meets a leper on a road. The leper asks the bishop to lick the bogey out of his nose as his nose is too tender to be wiped with a cloth. The bishop does lick the nose and as he does so a gem stone falls out of the leper's nose, it is the stone of grace...a gift from God for the bishop's humility...still gross though! Naturally the leper disappears having given the bishop this wonderful gift!