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The Laborer's Two Bodies

"The Laborer's Two Bodies" explores the intellectual, cultural, and political consequences of one of the most fundamental shifts in late medieval English society: the first national labour regulation in the wake of the 1348 plague. Bridging the medieval and early modern periods, this book analyzes a wide range of texts and images produced in this initial period of labour regulation (1349 to 1500), including trial records, ecclesiastical bulls, penitential literature, and chronicle accounts, considering these documents alongside better known texts by Chaucer, Gower, Langland, the Paston Family, Barclay and More (among others). This book demonstrates that the category of labour (as both lived and imagined) became increasingly problematic for writers who struggled to understand the meaning of work in a world where labour was simultaneously understood as punishment, virtue, and reward.
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Table of Contents

Introduction The Laborer's Two Bodies Chaucer and the Enforcement of the Labor Statutes The Ideology of Common Profit: Rebels, Heretics, Merchants Incorporeal Things: Fifteenth-Century Women's Work 'Let God Work!': Drama and Rebellion in Fifteenth-Century East Anglia Vagrant Times Epilogue: The Labors of Medievalism

Promotional Information

KELLIE ROBERTSON is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

About the Author

KELLIE ROBERTSON is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

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