Talking with the Taxman about Poetry: England’s Economy in “Against the King’s Taxes” and “Wynnere and Wastoure”
Drawing on parliamentary history and the evidence of two poems, this essay examines contrasting attitudes toward national economics in mid-fourteenth-century England. The Anglo-Norman and Latin ‘Against the King’s Taxes’ (c. 1340), identified by J. R. Maddicott as a poem of ‘Social Protest’, criticizes tax-granting with the language of Christian eschatology. The Middle English Wynnere and Wastoure (c. 1352–1370), on the other hand, embraces parliamentary representative ideology by imagining the collective economic good of the realm, seamlessly integrating moral and economic principles in a defense of the political status quo. (BLB; from the abstract for the journal)
Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, 20 (2008), 219-48.
Bryant, Brantley L.