Gower Bibliography

Common profit: Economic morality in English public political discourse, c. 1340—1406

Bryant, Brantley L. "Common profit: Economic morality in English public political discourse, c. 1340—1406." PhD thesis, Columbia University, 2007.

Review

"This dissertation examines the national economic discussion spurred by the crises of war and plague in fourteenth-century England. Bringing disparate texts into alignment with each other, I show that documentary and poetic writings from this period imagine economic activity and make economic arguments in strikingly similar ways. . . . Reading documentary texts such as parliamentary petitions and statutes alongside literature, including well-known works by Chaucer, Gower, and Langland as well as a variety of anonymous political satire, I identify and track four key strategies used by the middle strata in national economic debate. My chapters examine holistic conceptions of the realm's wealth, evaluations of the role of intermediary officials in financial systems, and appeals to "reason" as an economic standard and to "common profit" as a model of economic collaboration. Relying on the techniques of literary close reading, but applying them to productive groupings of texts that have often been separated by disciplinarily-dictated generic or linguistic criteria, I stress the importance of national economic concerns for the social, political, and literary imaginary of this period."

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Dissertation Abstracts International A68.09 (2008)
Subjects:Backgrounds and General Studies

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