John Lydgate

(1433 words)
  • Claire Sponsler (University of Iowa )

Although hardly a household name today, John Lydgate (ca. 1371-1449) was the best-known and most prolific writer of fifteenth-century England, author of over 140,000 lines of verse, along with some prose texts. Throughout his long career, Lydgate was supported and patronized by royalty and wealthy commoners, who commissioned most of his works, including his massive translations, the Troy Book, the Siege of Thebes, and the Fall of Princes. Although he has sometimes been disparaged as a mediocre writer, Lydgate deserves to be recognized for his popularity in his own day as well as for extending Chaucer's legacy and for creating a 'Lancastrian poetics' in which English literature became a vehicle of national prestige …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Sponsler, Claire. "John Lydgate". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]

Articles on Lydgate's works

  1. The Fall of Princes