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Lydgate’s Exquisite Corpus

Lydgate’s Exquisite Corpus

Chapter:
(p.191) Chapter Ten Lydgate’s Exquisite Corpus
Source:
Arts of Dying
Author(s):
D. Vance Smith
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226641041.003.0011

John Lydgate's poetry imagines itself as an archive, and his aureate style is an attempt to unbind the paradox that, for him, Chaucer is the genius that made English poetry possible, and that poetry after Chaucer's death has seemingly become impossible. Aureation is bound up with alchemy and the historiographical imagination as an attempt to preserve a past that makes possible the reanimation of England in the Lancastrian dynastic succession.

Keywords:   John Lydgate, archive, alchemy, aureation, fifteenth-century poetry, Chaucerians, Lancastrians

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