Abstract: In Middle English courtesy poetry of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, guidelines for courtly manners and mannerisms became more complex. In this article, I examine a variety of medieval manuscripts from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. These manuscripts preserve texts intended for a diverse and increasingly urban group of readers who are urged to cultivate proper manners and to develop a rhetorical, ethical, and literary awareness of their cultural heritage. My reading demonstrates that manners began to migrate towards the non-noble classes as early as the fifteenth century as a means of social mobility and as a component of urban, non-agrarian social norms.
Parergon – Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)
Published: Aug 8, 2012
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