Lydgate's Little Library @ ICMS 2020
A full 43% of Lydgate’s works in the DIMEV have no print or online editions. Rather than situating Lydgate in relation to his “big works” that have (sometimes multiple) editions – “Siege of Thebes,” “Troy Book,” and “Fall of Princes” – we should take our cue from Thomas Warton, who in 1840 wrote that “to enumerate Lydgate’s pieces, would be to write the catalogue of a little library.” We invite proposals addressing “Lydgate’s Little Library” – those pieces that demonstrate his “versatility of talents” (to quote Warton) and do not get the scholarly or pedagogical attention that his larger works do.
We are open to any approach in addressing these works, but are especially interested in scholarship that opens up new approaches to understanding Lydgate. The goal is to reconsider Lydgate not simply as a poet and dramatist, but as the creator of a library, a collection of works that varies widely in tone, purpose, and audience. By examining the dusty corners of Lydgate’s “little library,” we hope to create a new way of conceptualizing his corpus.