English Poetry of the Reign of Henry II

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


According to R. M. Wilson, “It is clear enough that there must have been a flourishing lyrical literature in English during the twelfth century, though almost nothing now remains of it…Many of the poems that were composed were probably never written down, and many that are still extant have been preserved only by the merest chance.” 1 As evidence for the reality of a flourishing lyrical tradition, Wilson quotes the “Canute Song,” St. Godric’s hymns, a story told by Giraldus Cambrensis about a parish priest kept awake all night by singing, a few lines surviving as quotations in prose works, and references to poems that are no longer extant.


Thirteenth Century Twelfth Century English Poetry Lyrical Verse Traditional Poetry 
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© Ruth Kennedy and Simon Meecham-Jones 2006

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  • Elizabeth Solopova

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