As is well-known, the wool trade was the foremost branch of English commerce in the 15th century. It was the oldest and largest industry with the superior quality of its products making it pre-eminent in European markets. Since the great cloth-making towns of Italy and the Netherlands depended upon English wool for the manufacture of their finer clothing, its importance was also political, as emerged in the diplomacy of the Hundred Years War. It also had a great social importance, as can be seen from the complaints from cloth-manufacturing towns that any interference in the supply of English wool could mean unemployment and misery for their citizens. That is the milieu of the Lybelle of Englishe Polycye. A rhymed tract, extant in three versions (dated respectively 1436, 1438, 1441), its function appears to have been to influence England’s trade policies. The long poem (ll. 1164) advances in fact high-level political strategies and detailed analyses of the trade in question. Taking its cue from the Libelle, A Trade Policy (Brown and Robbins 1943, Index, No. 921), a later shorter poem (ll.148), handed down by Ms. Lansdowne 796, also deals with the wool trade. The poem speaks to cloth and wool manufacturers as if to provide arguments to influence national trade policy, and to argue against any victimization of “þe pore pepyll”. The poem was written by someone from a lower social class, perhaps a yeoman in one of the clothing guilds, trying to support the claims of his ilk. The paper intends to investigate the linguistic traits of a written language of a politico-economic nature emerging from a complex context, a fascinating last moment in the pre-print age, where language is developing fast in order to answer the needs of its users.
|Citazione:||Tornaghi, P. (2006). To the manufacturers of cloth and sellers of wool: A fifteenth century poem on England's commercial policy. In G. del Lungo, M. Dossena, & B. Crawford Camiciottoli (a cura di), Variation in business and economics discourse: diachronic and genre perspectives (pp. 45-57). Roma : Officina edizioni.|
|Titolo:||To the manufacturers of cloth and sellers of wool: A fifteenth century poem on England's commercial policy|
|Tipo:||Capitolo o saggio|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2006|
|Titolo del libro:||Variation in business and economics discourse: diachronic and genre perspectives|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in libro|