[Milton-L] Milton's 'English' Skills

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Thu Aug 14 06:30:14 EDT 2008


Horace Jeffery Hodges replied to Erick Ramalho at 01:03 PM 8/13/2008:

> Just a further query on Middle
> English, if I may. Growing up as I did in the Ozarks with its
> old-fashioned use of words (e.g., stout = strong, not fat) and using the
> King James Bible in church (older people even prayed in King James
> English), I found Chaucer more 'readable' than did many of my university
> classmates. Would someone of Milton's generation have found Middle
> English fairly easily readable?

To which Peter C. Herman replied (Wed, 13 Aug 2008 13:10:04 -0700):

> Given Chaucer's popularity in both the sixteenth and seventeenth
> centuries, the answer is probably yes.

Popular, yes.  See e.g. http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/chaucer/works.html.
But by 1598 Thomas Speght's edition including an appendix glossing "hard words."
 Perhaps the issue wasn't that the language was easy but was found interesting?

Jameela



-- 
Jameela Lares, Ph.D.
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-6214 ofc
601 266-5757 fax


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