John Lydgate: The Fall of Princes

(1849 words)

John Lydgate's Fall of Princes (c. 1431-38) recounts the lamentable tragedies of famous men and women, compiled in nine books and over 36,000 lines of verse, beginning with Adam and Eve and ending with King John of France. A rich and varied treasury of biblical narrative, classical lore, and medieval chronicle, Lydgate's Fall is an English rendering of Laurent de Premierfait's Des Cas de nobles hommes et femmes (1409), itself a prose redaction of Boccaccio's De casibus virorum illustrium (1355-60). Lydgate's poem is therefore an early and ambitious English foray into de casibus tragedy, an encyclopedic genre that collects …

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Mitchell, J. Allan. "The Fall of Princes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 March 2007; last revised 10 October 2007.
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]