The Long Fifteenth Century is intended as a companion volume to Douglas Gray's ground-breaking Oxford Book of Late Medieval Verse and Prose and incorporates a bibliography of his published writings. Gray's anthology revolutionized critical appreciation of English and Scottish literature of the `long fifteenth century' from the death of Chaucer to the Reformation, but the literature of the period as a whole remains much under-read, undervalued, and
under-studied. The contributors to this volume, all leading scholars in the field, bring to the fore the power of underrated writers, restore to the period writings often attributed to other centuries, open up new possibilities in neglected genres, offer radical rereadings of some more familiar works, and
demonstrate how closely the literature of the period is bound up with political and social conditions. Written in honour of Douglas Gray, to mark his long and distinguished tenure of the J.R.R. Tolkein Professorship of English Literature and Language at Oxford university, the 15 essays in this volume portray the long fifteenth century as a major period of literature in its own right. They provide a comprehensive survey of fifteenth-century literature in print, from the morality play to the
ballad, verse forms to prose romances, including Chaucer, Lydgate, Skelton, and Hoccleve, along with essays on the Middle French Poets and Scottish writings of the period.
`The book produced to mark the retirement of Douglas Gray, one of the most learned, humane, and genial literary scholars to teach at Oxford in the last thirty years. The range of subject in this collection is remarkable, and designedly achieved... 'to help to change the way the fifteenth century is perceived', is the mission and the challenge of this collection... happily, the promise of such breadth is fulfilled by the accomplishment and richness of the
essays the editors have chosen to include... in its diversity of subject and the contribution it makes to our understanding of the late literature of medieval England, The Long Fifteenth Century is true to its intentions.'
Robert F. Yeager, Studies in the Age of Chaucer