A New Annotated Edition of the C-Text
Edited by Derek Pearsall
Derek Pearsall is Professor Emeritus of Harvard University and a pre-eminent scholar of Langland and Chaucer; he has published widely on both authors.
Plowman xi Introduction 1 Prologue – The Fair Field Full of Folk 43 Passus I Holy Church 56 II The Marriage Plans of Meed the Maid 68 III Meed the Maid at Westminster 80 IV Meed the Maid on Trial 102 V The Author’s Apologia and the Sermon of Reason 110 VI The Confession of the Sins 121 VII The Shriving of the Folk; Piers Plowman’s Guide to Truth 140 VIII The Ploughing of the Half-Acre 156 IX The Pardon Sent from Truth 171 X The Search for Dowel: The Discourse of the Friars, Thought and Wit 187 XI Learning and Salvation: the Discourse of Study, Clergy and Rechelesnesse 201 XII The Debate about Salvation continued: Discourse of Rechelesnesse on Humility and Patient Poverty 216 XIII Rechelesnesse Concludes; the Mirror of Middle-Earth 228 XIV Imaginatif 238 XV The Feast of Patience and the Meeting with Activa Vita 250 Pearsall, Piers Plowman.indd 5 12/06/2008 15:29:48 vi piers plowman XVI Patience and Liberum Arbitrium 265 XVII Liberum Arbitrium on Charity and the Church 282 XVIII The Tree of Charity and the Meeting with Faith 296 XIX Hope and the Good Samaritan 309 XX The Crucifixion and the Harrowing of Hell 322 XXI The Founding of Holy Church 344 XXII The Coming of Antichrist 363 Textual Variants 379 Reference List 392 Glossary
... making this edition one of the most valuable tools available.
Year’s Work in English Studies, vol. 89, no. 1
Like its predecessor thirty years ago, Derek Pearsall’s new edition of the C text Piers Plowman will be a welcome volume on the shelves of scholars, teachers, and students of the poem. As with the first edition, it is a pleasure to read a version of the poem in and for itself, with enough context provided to allow readers with a general competence in Middle English, but not deeply versed in Piers Plowman scholarship or the poem’s cultural milieu, to engage with the work. That engagement is aided by the side glosses (new in this edition); explanatory footnotes (significantly expanded from the first edition); and a revised introduction, with a very useful series of thematic notes on such overarching topics as the Dreamer, friars, Lady Meed, the seven deadly sins, and so on, expanded and transferred from their original positions in the old on-page notes. Given the reasonable price of the paperback edition, the text could well be used in advanced undergraduate as well as introductory graduate courses in Middle English Literature ... The book is generally pleasing to the eye; slightly larger-than-normal dimensions provide enough white space for easy reading, always a concern in books with apparatus in both the margins and the foot of the page ... The revised text, the enriched but still selective textual apparatus, and the extensively updated notes, introduction, and bibliography make Pearsall’s new, annotated Piers Plowman a valuable introduction to the C text as is has come to be understood over the last thirty years and an important complement to other editions of the poem.
M. Teresa Tavormina The Journal of Speculum, Volume 85
Although a ‘student edition’ in that it provides help for beginners in the field, its scholarship, especially in its explanatory notes, cannot be ignored by the most seasoned scholars. Only those who have struggled in the same arena will recognize how many problems Pearsall has solved with easy grace and humility. The new text, handsomely and legibly printed, has a larger format than its predecessors, partly to accommodate marginal glosses, which Pearsall somewhat reluctantly supplies because ‘it has become a necessity in the light of the expectations of modern readers. The marginal glosses now make Pearsall’s edition a stronger competitor with Schmidt’s student edition of the B text. The annotation is the glory of Pearsall’s editions, both original and revised. We are grateful to Pearsall (as we are to Langland) that he continued to work on this poem across several decades.
Stephen A. Barney Yearbook of Langland Studies, 23
Scholarly and accessible, this will be an invaluable edition for both students of the poem and those specializing in the field.
C.J.S C.J.S Medium Aevum. Vol LXXVIII
Edition: New edition
Size: 246 x 173 mm
Publication: July 25, 2008
Series: Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies