Kindly Similitude: Marriage and Family in Piers Plowman | National Humanities Center

Work of the Fellows: Monographs

Kindly Similitude: Marriage and Family in Piers Plowman

By M. Teresa Tavormina (NHC Fellow, 1983–84)

Marriage; Family; Middle English Literature; Social History; Piers Plowman

Cambridge, UK: D.S. Brewer, 1995

From the publisher’s description:

Kindly Similitude is the first study to offer a detailed reading of the many passages in Piers Plowman A, B, and C concerned with marriage and family, and to place them within the frameworks of contemporary social history, law, theology, exegesis, and literature. The author shows how Langland draws on the experiences of familial life both literally and metaphorically to further his expositions of law and love, nature and grace, the image of God in individuals and society, the use of time and material goods, the perversion of right relationships through covetise, and doing well in the active life. For Langland, an unmistakably public poet, the marital householdis inextricably linked to religious, economic, and political institutions. It reflects and transmits a divine exemplar of community, and plays a fundamental role in creating the society in which he and his audience must live. This important new critical approach complements the strong current attention to the poem's intellectual and ecclesiological contexts.

Literature / Literary Criticism / Marriage / Family / Middle English Literature / Social History / Piers Plowman /

Tavormina, M. Teresa (NHC Fellow, 1983–84). Kindly Similitude: Marriage and Family in Piers Plowman. Piers Plowman Studies. Cambridge, UK: D.S. Brewer, 1995.