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Contrary to previous scholarship, which has claimed that university drama did not occur at the English universities before the Tudor period, Meacham argues that there was a vibrant tradition of performance throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. He suggests an earlier tradition has not been recognized because, in addition to the false assumption that medieval pedagogy cannot support such activity, the full range of medieval performance practices or "texts," beyond the traditional play text, have not been considered. This book takes as its focus one of the last medieval university plays, Thomas Chaundler’s Liber apologeticus de omni statu humanae naturae (A defense of human nature in every state, c. 1460). Meacham positions Liber apologeticus and the texts of its parent codex, Cambridge: Trinity College MS R.14.5 (in addition to select texts from another manuscript compiled by Chaundler) as the culmination of a substantive and nuanced medieval university performance tradition, incorporating pedagogical, devotional, and ceremonial practices.
DeGruyter and Medieval Institute Publications
Medieval Institute Publications
Thomas Chaundler, Liber apologeticus, scholasticism, Oxford University, performance
Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory | Medieval Studies
Citation for Published Book
Meacham, Thomas. The Performance Tradition of the Medieval English University: The Works of Thomas Chaundler. Berlin: DeGruyter and Medieval Institute Publications, 2019.