did-you-know? rent-now

Amazon no longer offers textbook rentals. We do!

John Trevisa's Information Age Knowledge and the Pursuit of Literature, c. 1400


John Trevisa's Information Age Knowledge and the Pursuit of Literature, c. 1400

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 10/20/2021
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

List Price $89.60 Save

Rent $58.98
Added Benefits of Renting

Free Shipping Both Ways Free Shipping Both Ways
Highlight/Take Notes Like You Own It Highlight/Take Notes Like You Own It
Purchase/Extend Before Due Date Purchase/Extend Before Due Date

List Price $89.60 Save $0.90

New $88.70

Usually Ships in 3-5 Business Days

We Buy This Book Back We Buy This Book Back!

Included with your book

Free Shipping On Every Order Free Shipping On Every Order

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Extend or Purchase Your Rental at Any Time

Need to keep your rental past your due date? At any time before your due date you can extend or purchase your rental through your account.


What would medieval English literature look like if we viewed it through the lens of the compendium? In that case, John Trevisa might come into focus as the major author of the fourteenth century. Trevisa (d. 1402) made a career of translating big informational texts from Latin into English prose. These included Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon, an enormous universal history, Bartholomaeus Anglicus's well-known natural encyclopedia De proprietatibus rerum, and Giles of Rome's advice-for-princes manual, De regimine principum. These were shrewd choices, accessible and on trend: De proprietatibus rerum and De regimine principum had already been translated into French and copied in deluxe manuscripts for the French and English nobility, and the Polychronicon had been circulating England for several decades.

This book argues that John Trevisa's translations of compendious informational texts disclose an alternative literary history by way of information culture. Bold and lively experiments, these translations were a gamble that the future of literature in England was informational prose. This book argues that Trevisa's oeuvre reveals an alternative literary history more culturally expansive and more generically diverse than that which we typically construct for his contemporaries, Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland. Thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century European writers compiled massive reference books which would shape knowledge well into the Renaissance. This study maintains that they had a major impact on English poetry and prose. In fact, what we now recognize to be literary properties emerged in part from translations of medieval compendia with their inventive ways of handling vast quantities of information.

Author Biography

Read more