John Lydgate

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Lydgate, John

(lĭd`gāt), c.1370–c.1450, English poet, a monk of Bury St. Edmunds. A professed disciple of Chaucer, he was one of the most influential, voluminous, and versatile writers of the Middle Ages. His works may be divided into three classes: (1) poems written in the Chaucerian manner, such as the Complaint of the Black Knight, which resembles Chaucer's Book of the Duchess, and the allegory The Temple of Glass; (2) lengthy translations, of which the Troy Book (from the Latin of Guido della Colonna), The Fall of Princes (from the French of Laurent de Premierfait), and The Siege of Thebes (also from the French), are the best known; (3) short pieces, including fables, saints' lives, and devotional, philosophic, and occasional poems. After Lydgate's death his fame diminished rapidly. His poetry has been criticized for its prolixity and prosaic style.


See his Poems, ed. by J. Norton-Smith (1966); biography by L. A. Ebin (1985); study by D. A. Pearsall (1970).

References in periodicals archive ?
12, including one preserved in two manuscripts, are authored by John Lydgate and localised in the East-Midlands.
In his Praise of Peace (MS Harley 2255; 1460), John Lydgate involves the prepositions twen(e) and atwen.
21) These two poems, with introductions as quoted here, are from The Minor Poems of John Lydgate, Part II: Secular Poems, ed.
25) For example, Lydgate's Lives of Saints Edmund and Fremund is introduced by a lengthy prose heading, with Shirley spellings: 'O alle reders and hereres of this lamentable story, compleynithe with me the martyrdome of Saint Edmunde Kyng kanon seo[ ]shuned in the Abbey of Bury, nowe late translated oute of Latyne into Englishe by daun John Lydgate, religeous of the same place, at the comandement of Kynge Henre the VI, solempnising there his .
Before 1420 John Lydgate composed his Troy Book (Bergen (ed.
Seen in the light of this shaping vision, writers like John Lydgate, whose purely literary importance may be slight, acquire a new importance.
On Lydgate, see Derek Pearsall, John Lydgate (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1970).
4) For the dating of the mummings, see Derek Pearsall, John Lydgate (1371-1449): A Bio-Bibliography (Victoria: English Literary Studies, 1997), 28-32.
The fifteenth century Secrets of old philosophers, a translation/adaptation/elaboration of Aristotle's Secreta secretorum by John Lydgate, and after his death continued by Benedict Burgh, outlines the principles of a good reign.
Derek Pearsall, John Lydgate 037-1449): A Bio-bibliography, English Literary Studies Monograph Series No.
John Lydgate produced another version in his Troy Book.
40) John Lydgate also describes the scene in The Life of Our Lady.