Money, Commerce, and Economics in Late Medieval English Literature

  • Craig E. Bertolet
  • Robert Epstein

Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

About this book


This is the first collection of essays dedicated to the topics of money and economics in the English literature of the late Middle Ages. These essays explore ways that late medieval economic thought informs contemporary English texts and apply modern modes of economic analysis to medieval literature. In so doing, they read the importance and influence of historical records of practices as aids to contextualizing these texts. They also apply recent modes of economic history as a means to understand the questions the texts ask about economics, trade, and money. Collectively, these papers argue that both medieval and modern economic thought are key to valuable historical contextualization of medieval literary texts, but that this criticism can be advanced only if we also recognize the specificity of the economic and social conditions of late-medieval England.


late medieval economics modern economics in medieval context Marxist historiography of the medieval period commercial economy of 14th-century England gift-exchange in medieval England economics of salvation in Medieval literature Judas in medieval drama and poetry Merchant of Venice The Southern Passion Medieval devotional literature and economics Wynnere and Wastoure economics and medieval collectivism medieval antimercantilism Dives and Pauper Franciscan theology and social inequity social strata in 14th century England Piers Plowman Karl Polanyi the medieval free-market economics in Chaucer

Editors and affiliations

  • Craig E. Bertolet
    • 1
  • Robert Epstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Auburn UniversityAuburn, ALUSA
  2. 2.Fairfield UniversityFairfield, CTUSA

Bibliographic information