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Langland, William
(550 words)

[German Version]

(c. 1330 – c. 1390, London?), Middle English poet. The son of an Oxfordshire gentleman, Langland was brought up in the west of England. He spent much of his adult life in humble circumstances in London, as a married clerk in minor orders.

His only known writing is the alliterative poem, Piers Plowman, on which he worked for many years. The 55 surviving manuscripts of the poem show it in three main states: the A version (dated c. 1365–1370), the B version (c. 1370–1377), and the C version (in the 1380s). Piers Plowman describes a series of visions (10 in the B version), d…

Cite this page
Burrow, John, “Langland, William”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 10 December 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_12652>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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