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The praier and complaynte of the ploweman unto Christe

The praier and complaynte of the ploweman unto Christe

Edited by Douglas H. Parker
Copyright Date: 1997
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    The praier and complaynte of the ploweman unto Christe
    Book Description:

    This is an old-spelling, critical edition of an English Protestant text from the sixteenth century. This careful, meticulous work is a revealing look at the ideology of the religious struggles not only of the 16th century, but of the 14th century as well.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-2344-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature, Religion, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction

    • Contents and Structure
      (pp. 3-13)
    • The Persona of the Ploweman
      (pp. 14-18)

      One of the devices that helps to hold this sometimes wayward and repetitive tract together is the figure of the Ploweman himself and especially the frequent manifestations of his social class within the work. In general terms the most pervasive dichotomy that the narrator establishes inThe praier and complaynte,and the one on which he focuses, is the contrast between an uncaring, wealthy, and self serving church on the one hand, and the poor, humble, simple Christian in need of spiritual sustenance on the other. The Ploweman situates himself in this latter category and sees the former as ruled...

    • Analogues and Sources
      (pp. 19-40)

      By the timeThe praier and complaynte of the plowemanmade its first appearance in print in 1531, a number of early English Protestant books published on the continent and dealing with reformist subjects similar to those found inThe praierhad seen the light of day. The fact that many of these works expressed views identical to those found inThe praier,a work first written during Lollard times, indicates that not only Lutheran but specifically Lollard views were well known among early Protestants, andThe praierwould have found a congenial home among these other tracts.²⁰ Discounting biblical...

    • The Editor and Early English Editions
      (pp. 41-51)

      Regrettably, based on the evidence – or rather the lack of it – we can come to no firm conclusions as to the identity of the sixteenth-century editor ofThe praier and complaynte of the plowemanor the extent of his involvement beyond the brief preface which we know for certain was not part of the original tract.³⁸ As I mentioned above, Foxe, Bale, Mozley, and Butterworth attribute the editorial involvement to William Tyndale. Hume disagrees and claims that George Joye was its editor. My own view, based on an examination of Tyndale’s works, plus a number of the English Protestant tracts...

    • The Ploughman Tradition of Complaint
      (pp. 52-78)

      InThe Arte of English Poesie(1589), George Puttenham, commenting on William Langland’sThe Vision of William Concerning Piers the Plowman,makes a claim that the English reformers of the early and mid-sixteenth century would certainly have endorsed. He states: ‘He that wrote the Satyr of Piers Ploughman seemed to haue bene a malcontent of that time, and therefore bent himselfe wholy to taxe the disorders of that age, and specially the pride of the Romane Clergy, of whose fall he seemeth to be a very true Prophet’ (62).⁵¹ A survey of ploughman and Piers literature in the sixteenth century...

    • Editorial Method
      (pp. 79-80)
    • Bibliographical Descriptions
      (pp. 81-84)
    • Notes
      (pp. 85-104)
  5. The praier and complaynte of the ploweman vnto Christe
    (pp. 105-154)

    Christe oure sauioure and his Apostels after hym/ although they taught no thinge which was not taught in the law and the prophetes more then a thousande yeres before/ ever and in euery place desyringe the audience to serch the olde scriptures and proue whether they testified with hym or no. yet all this not withstandinge/ the scribes/ the Phareses/ the Byschops/ the prestes/ the lawyers/ and the elders of the people/ cryed alwayes: what new lerninge ys this? These fellowes teach new lerninge. These be they that trouble all the world with their new lerninge and cete. And so...

  6. Commentary
    (pp. 155-184)

    The commentary is designed to gloss difficult readings, identify all biblical and secular allusions, and provide references to and analogues from Lollard writings and early English sixteenth-century reformation tracts. All New Testament citations in the section entitled ‘To the Christen reader’ are taken from David Daniell’s modern-spelling edition of Tyndale’sNew Testament.Page references to Daniell’s edition are given in parentheses immediately following the citation. All biblical citations in the text ofThe praierandcomplaynteitself are from the Forshall and Madden edition of the so-called Wycliffe Bible.

    7-10 Matthew 10:21. The suggestion is that the papacy and its...

  7. Press Variants in the Copy Text
    (pp. 185-185)
  8. Emendations
    (pp. 186-188)
  9. Variants
    (pp. 189-193)
  10. Glossary
    (pp. 194-202)
  11. Sixteenth-Century Ploughman Texts
    (pp. 203-204)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 205-212)
  13. Index
    (pp. 213-222)