Rhetorical Stimulus in the Prick of Conscience
About twenty years ago, my son Ben attended Jeremy’s medieval history lectures in the SMU summer program at Oxford, thanks to Bonnie and Jeremy’s typical generosity. He returned to the States enthusiastic about medieval history, and proclaimed to me that Jeremy “could make any subject interesting.” I know this has been true for generations of Jeremy’s students, and I have always found it to be the case in scholarly conversations with him. In tribute to Jeremy’s ability to make the most unlikely subjects interesting—indeed, often fascinating—I offer the present essay on a Middle English poem that is read very little today but that apparently deeply engrossed its contemporary audience. I do not expect to engage my readers with anything like Jeremy’s verve and energy, but I will feel that he has been honored by my contribution if they find the following pages interesting.
KeywordsFourteenth Century Book Versus Christian Doctrine Sensory Detail Modern Language Association
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- 1.For the manuscripts, see Robert E. Lewis and Angus Mclntosh, A Descriptive Guide to the Manuscripts of the “Prick of Conscience,” Medium Aevum Monographs, n.s. 12 (Oxford: The Society for the Study of Mediaeval Languages and Literature, 1982);Google Scholar
- 2.Hope Emily Allen, “The Authorship of the Prick of Conscience,” in Studies in English and Comparative Literature, Radcliffe College Monographs 15 (Boston: Ginn, 1910), pp. 115–70.Google Scholar
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