Piers Plowman

About the Book

The Rock and the Plough
Stella Pates, BA(Lond)

John Grandisson, William Langland and Piers Plowman: A Theory of Authorship

About the Book

This book lays the great Middle English poem Piers Plowman alongside the copious writings of John Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter (1327-1369), demonstrating their astonishing similarities. Bishop Grandisson is well remembered for the building of Exeter Cathedral's Nave and West Front and of the Collegiate Church of Ottery St Mary. He was also a superb administrator, a famous liturgist and a writer of genius, whose "Register is in fact a wonderful prose comment on the saeva indignatio of Piers Plowman". His lyricism and his vivid accounts of pointless Parliaments, fake miracles, sorceresses, hunting Canons and unruly schoolboys rival the poem itself: the two illuminate each other.

In a Foreword to the book, the Very Reverend Keith Jones, Dean of Exeter, writes that the "linking of the author of Piers Plowman with Bishop Grandisson is intriguing and suggests new ways of thinking about a great churchman and a passionate observer of the humanity around him".