Here’s What’s Next For 101 Books
This is it, friends.
I’ve been trying to figure out what I want do with this blog when the 101 Books project is over. That’s still probably two-ish years away, but it’s coming.
And, today, I’d like to announce where I’ve landed on that decision.
If you’ve followed the blog for a few years, the new direction might come as a surprise to you, but at least you have a while to let it marinate in your soul so you can, hopefully, continue on with me on this blog.
I’ve always had a passion for medieval literature. When all my friends had posters of Michael Jordan, I had one of Chaucer over my bed in high school. Medieval literature just gives me the happy itches, and I don’t even know what that means.
So here’s the list I’ll tackle after I’ve completed 101 Books.
It’s a killer list. Take a look at these beauties.
Primary Sources: Anglo-Saxon/early period choices
1. Boethius. The Consolation of Philosophy (trans.)
3. Cynewulf: “Fates of the Apostles,” “Christ II,” “Juliana,” “Elene.”
4. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition, eds. Dumville and Keynes, vols. 3 and 4. [In vol. 3, the beginning and annals 755-871, 911-924, 933-946. In vol. 4 compare 911-19 (the Mercian Chronicle).
5. Aelfric. Lives of Saints, ed. Skeat (EETS 76, 82, 94, 114) [In vol. 1 read Eugenia and Aetheldryda; in vol. 2, read Swythun, Oswald, Edmund, and Eufrasia].
6. Bede. Ecclesiastical History of the English People (trans)
7. Anglo-Saxon Elegies: “Wulf and Eadwaecer”, “The Husband’s Message,” “Wife’s Lament”, “Deor,” “Wanderer,” and “Seafarer” (Klinck, ed., 2001)
8. Religious verse: “Dream of the Rood”, “Judith,” “Advent Lyrics” (“Christ I”), multiple versions of “Cædmon’s Hymn,” and selected psalms from Paris Psalter of King Alfred/Alfredian translation project
9. Verse chronicles, riddles, and leechcraft: “Battle of Maldon”, “Battle of Brunanburh,” selected riddles (Williamson, ed.), “Aecerbot,” “Nine Herbs,” “Against a Sudden Stitch,” “Against a Dwarf,” “For Childbirth,” and “For a Swarm of Bees”
Later medieval period choices
10. Mabinogion (trans.)
11. Ancrene Wisse
12. The Life of Christina of Markyate, A Twelfth Century Recluse C. H.Talbot, trans and ed.
13. South English Legendary (selections)
14. Marie de France. Lais (trans.)
15. Katherine Group. Seinte Katerine, ed. d’Ardenne and Dobson; Seinte Margaret and Hali Meiđhad, ed. Millett & Wogan-Browne.
16. La3man, Brut (selections)
17. Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (selections) (trans.)
18. Malory. Works. Vinaver edition
19. Alliterative Morte Arthure
20. Stanzaic Le Morte Arthur
21. Mandeville. Travels
22. The English Writings of Richard Rolle
24. Chaucer. Book of the Duchess
25. Chaucer. Parlement of Fowles
27. Chaucer. Legend of Good Women
28. Chaucer. Canterbury Tales
29. Chaucer. Troilus and Criseyde
30. Gower. Confessio Amantis (selections)
31. English Wycliffite Writings, ed. Anne Hudson (selections)
32. Lydgate, Fall of Princes, Book I and Conclusion: 9.3134-3628
33. Hoccleve, Regiment of Princes (selections)
34. Middle English Lyrics (Norton edition)
38. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
39. Owl and the Nightingale
40. Langland. Piers Plowman B Text.
41. Middle English Romances: King Horn, Havelok, Athelstan, Sir Orfeo, Launfal, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell)
42. Book of Margery Kempe, eds. S. B. Meech and H. E. Allen (EETS 212, or Barry Windeatt, ed. (2004).
43. Wynnere and Wastoure
44. The Cloud of Unknowing
45. Walter Hilton, The Ladder of Perfection
46. Guillaume de Lorris & Jean de Meun. Romance of the Rose (trans.)
47. Christine de Pisan. Book of the City of Ladies (trans.)
48. Froissart. Chronicles (trans.)
49. Dunbar, ed. Kinsley or Bawcutt: “Hale sterne superne”; “Quhen Merche wes with variand indis past” (“The Thrissill and the Rois”); “Blyth Aberdeane”; “The Goldyn Targe”; “Lang heff I maed of ladyes quhytt” (“Ane Blak Moir”); “The Tretis of the tua mariit Wemen and the Wedo”; “Off Februar the fyiftene nycht” (“The Dance of the sevin deidly synnis”); “I that in heill wes and gladnes” (“Lament for the Makaris”); “Quhy will ye marchantis of renoun”; “The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie”; “Sir Jhon Sinclair begowthe to dance” (“Of a Dance in the Quenis Chalmer”); “Schir, ye have mony servitouris”; “We that ar heir in hevins glory” (“Dirige to the king”)
50. Henryson. Testament of Cresseid.
51. The Towneley Plays, ed. Stevens and Cawley (2 vols.; EETS SS 13-14, 1994)
52. The Idea of the Vernacular, ed. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne et al (1999).
53. Augustine, Confessions (trans.)
54. Saint Erkenwald, ed. Peterson
55. The Book of Vices and Virtues
56. Julian of Norwich, Writings, ed. Watson and Jenkins
Wow. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this.
The possibilities are endless.
We could write for weeks on the Anglo-Saxon elegies of “Wulf and Eadwaecer” and “Deor”. How I love “Deor.”
I can’t wait to dig deep into Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People and compare it to Boethius’s “The Consolation of Philosophy.” And what about “Aecerbot” and “Nine Herbs?”
Guys, it’s “Aecerbot”! I finally get to read “Aecerbot!”
Once we get into the later medieval period choices, I really get amped up. The list of Dunbar’s works alone could keep me busy for months.
I’ll face a difficult decision when I choose whether to start with “Quhy will ye marchantis of renoun” or “Lang heff I maed of ladyes quhytt.” Don’t make me choose! Please don’t make me choose! I’ve heard so many good things about “Lang heff I maed of ladyes quhytt” that I just can’t imagine starting with anything else.
But, please, let’s not forget “The Tretis of the tua mariit Wemen and the Wedo.” If “Tretis” (as I like to call it for short) doesn’t become my new Gatsby, then I’ll be shocked.
Sure, there’s a lot of boring Chaucer on the list. I’ll have to slog through that. But it all evens out. My eyes light up when I see that Talbot’s The Life of Christina of Markyate, A Twelfth Century Recluse made the cut. What a romp that one will be.
So what do you all think about my new list? Are you as excited as I am?
No? Have I lost my mind?
Not really. In fact, APRIL FOOL’S!
Please tell me you didn’t bite. If you’ve been around the blog for a couple of years, you had to know it was coming.
No, I’m not reading through some doctoral program’s medieval literature list. To give you a better idea of what I might be doing next, check out this post from a few weeks ago.
Have a great April Fool’s Day!
And if you’re interested in the last two years’ April Fool’s posts, here they are: