Also known as The Complaint of the Black Knight, John Lydgate’s A Complaynte of a Lovers Lyfe recounts the narrator’s chance encounter wherein he overhears a scorned knight formulaically bemoaning his inability to attract the favors of a particular woman. One of Lydgate’s most courtly works—both in terms of audience and of subject matter—Complaynte eventually circulated in broader circles and was incorporated into manuscript miscellanies marketed to England’s prosperous mercantile classes seeking models of courtly deportment and knowledge.
John Lydgate (1373?-1449), a monk connected with the Benedictine abbey of Bury St Edmunds, was a prolific and prolix versifier …
Citation: Barrington, Candace. "A Complaynte of a Lovers Lyfe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 March 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7231, accessed 01 June 2023.]