Reference > Cambridge History > The End of the Middle Ages > “Piers the Plowman” and its Sequence > The Scotish Feilde
  Death and Liffe The Fourteenth Century  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume II. The End of the Middle Ages.

I. “Piers the Plowman” and its Sequence.

§ 35. The Scotish Feilde.


In the same priceless MS. is preserved another alliterative poem, which Skeat regards as the work of the author of Death and Liffe. It is called The Scotish Feilde and is, in the main, an account of the battle of Flodden. The author, who describes himself as “a gentleman, by Jesu” who had his “bidding place” “at Bagily” (i.e. at Baggily Hall, Cheshire), was an ardent adherent of the Stanleys and wrote for the specific purpose of celebrating their glorious exploits at Bosworth Field and at Flodden. The poem seems to have been written shortly after Flodden, and, perhaps, rewritten or revised later. That the author of this poem, spirited chronicle though it be, was capable of the excellences of Death and Liffe, is hard to believe; the resemblances between the poems seem entirely superficial and due to the fact that they had a common model.   90
  The influence of Piers the Plowman lasted, as we have seen, well into the sixteenth century; indeed, interest in both the poem and its central figure was greatly quickened by the supposed relations between it and Wyclifism. The name or the figure of the Ploughman appears in innumerable poems and prose writings, and allusions of all sorts are very common. Skeat has given a list of the most important of these in the fourth volume of his edition of Piers Plowman for the Early English Text Society.   91

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  Death and Liffe The Fourteenth Century  
 
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