In this essay I look at a group of texts written in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, which were initially circulated in manuscript as contributions to the ‘Lollard’ debates about church wealth and clerical morality in that period. They were then printed in the early 1530s (and reprinted in the 1560s and 1570s) as contributions to similar debates a century and more later than their origin. These texts, Lollard writing re-presented for Reformation reading, offer an interesting case study of chronological and epistemological distortion, as they might be argued to distort conceptions of time and history around them both ‘positively’ and ‘negatively’ – if those terms have any meaning – but always powerfully and provocatively. The texts present challenges to our definitions of how they might be categorised, what they might suggest about the communities that produced and received them, and what they imply about our own sense of their relationship to time and the creation of historical narrative.
|Title of host publication||Textual Distortion|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge|
|Publisher||Boydell and Brewer|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2017|
|Name||Essays and Studies|
|Publisher||The English Association|