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William Langland (Medieval Writer of Piers Plowman) ca 1332 - ca 1386


William Langland Demographics:
  • Name - William Langland.
  • Born - ca. 1332 (West Midlands, England).
  • Died - ca. 1386
  • Nationality - English
  • Occupation - Supposed medieval English poet & moralist.
William Langland Important Facts:
  • Moralist of the late 14th century - wrote about the decline in discipline after the Black Death.
  • The conjectured author of the 14th-century English dream-vision Piers Plowman.
  • Piers the Plowman, full title — The Vision of William concerning Piers the Plowman, together with Vita de Do-wel, Do-bet, et Do-best, secundum Wit et Resoun; usually given in Latin as Visio Willelmi de Petro Plowman, &c
  • The attribution of Piers to Langland is principally based upon the evidence of a manuscript held at Trinity College, Dublin.
  • This manuscript directly ascribes 'Perys Ploughman' to one 'Willielmi de Langlond', son of 'Stacy de Rokayle.
  • Other manuscripts also name the author as 'Robert or William langland', or 'Wilhelmus W.'.
  • The Piers Plowman itself, also points towards Langland as the author.
  • Langland's authorship is now widely accepted though is not entirely beyond dispute.
William Langland's Life:
  • Almost nothing is known of William Langland himself.
  • There is alot of possible biographical data in the poem, but it is difficult to know how to assess the details.
  • The distinction between allegory and 'real-life' in Piers Plowman is not truly absolute.
  • The detailed and sophisticated level of religious knowledge in the poem also does suggest that he had some connection to the church.

Image Credit - by kevinq2000 Piers Plowman Manuscript
(cc)

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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