England in the Aftermath of the Black Death.
PPl, along with Gower’s Miroir and Vox clamantis, illustrates the fact that the gains of laborers and smallholders between the time of the Black Death and the price-falls of grain in the 1370s were greater than prevailing historians, basing their assessments on manorial and seigneural records, admit. The poem illustrates the common practice of giving meals to agricultural day workers, a significant economic advance not regularly noted in manorial accounts, which sought to hide such payments. WL’s emphasis on discriminating between the deserving and undeserving poor shows he believed that gainful employment was available for those capable of working.
Past & Present 144 (August, 1994): 3-35.