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 …

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Sponsler, Claire. "John Lydgate". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002
[, accessed 30 May 2015.]

Articles on Lydgate's works

  1. The Fall of Princes