Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Translations of Authority in Medieval English Literature
Valuing the Vernacular


  • Date Published: January 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107403949

£ 32.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • In Translations of Authority in Medieval English Literature, leading critic Alastair Minnis presents the fruits of a long-term engagement with the ways in which crucial ideological issues were deployed in vernacular texts. The concept of the vernacular is seen as possessing a value far beyond the category of language - as encompassing popular beliefs and practices which could either confirm or contest those authorized by church and state institutions. Minnis addresses the crisis for vernacular translation precipitated by the Lollard heresy; the minimal engagement with Nominalism in late fourteenth-century poetry; Langland's views on indulgences; the heretical theology of Walter Brut; Margery Kempe's self-promoting biblical exegesis; and Chaucer's tales of suspicious saints and risible relics. These discussions disclose different aspects of 'vernacularity', enabling a fuller understanding of its complexity and potency.

    • Highly respected scholar's new contribution to an important area of medieval studies
    • Offers a fuller, richer understanding of the concept of 'the vernacular' in medieval literature
    • Gives insight into the complex relationship between elite and popular culture in the medieval period
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Minnis slaloms down the steep slopes of scholastic theology with virtuosic ease and rapidity … an impressive book that anyone interested in arguments about vernacular theology and English orthodoxy, or anyone interested in how Alastair Minnis continues to write so well and so much, will want to read.' Notes and Queries

    Review of the hardback: 'Together with the many incidental pleasures afforded by a book that is redolent throughout of its author's long familiarity with the creativity of scholastic thought, Minnis's greatest achievement here is to make this revisiting of textual cruces look easy …' Studies in the Age of Chaucer

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107403949
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Absent glosses: the trouble with Middle English hermeneutics
    2. Looking for a sign: the quest for Nominalism in Ricardian poetry
    3. Piers' protean pardon: Langland on the letter and spirit of indulgences
    4. Making bodies: confection and conception in Walter Brut's vernacular theology
    5. Spiritualizing marriage: Margery Kempe's allegories of female authority
    6. Chaucer and the relics of vernacular religion.

  • Author

    Alastair Minnis, Yale University, Connecticut

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.