Skip to content

Vol. 24 The Simonie: A Parallel-Text Edition

Edition From MSS Advocates 19.2.1, Bodley 48, And Peterhouse College 104

Dan Embree, Elizabeth Urquhart (eds.) (1991) The Simonie is a Middle English “evil times” complaint, which attacks in verse the contemporary abuses peculiar to various estates, both clerical and secular. It survives in three distinct fourteenth- and fifteenth-century versions, independently derived from a lost fourteenth-century original. In all three versions, The Simonie is a lively poem, full of vividly detailed portraits of medieval life, rendered in language that is both concrete and emotionally charged. The Simonie’s content and poetic language may have influenced Chaucer and Langland. Each of the versions has been printed before, but this is the first time they have been edited together with both a full critical apparatus and an arrangement that permits stanza-by-stanza comparison whilst preserving the integrity of each text.