The readings are clarifying and astute, bringing out moments rarely mentioned and offering fresh treatments of famous passages; the critic’s warm voice fosters enthusiasm in and careful attention to a poem that needs both.
This lively book has no peers. . . . Readers seeking a one-stop shop for tools with which to engage with all things Piers could hardly do better than Calabrese’s Introduction.
Easy to read, engaging, and often illuminating; [Calabrese] enables students to make sense of the poem’s disjointed and tangential style; and he inspires them to appreciate Langland’s craft.
A handy vade-mecum.
--Modern Language Review
A welcome addition to . . . previously available handbooks, guidebooks, and companions.
--Studies in the Age of Chaucer
Introduce[s] readers to the full complexity of the poem and its critical tradition in an engaging and accessible way. . . . Calabrese draws on a shared library of texts and experiences with inventive analogies that bring the poem to life.
Offer[s] new and seasoned readers of Langland’s poem a highly readable overview of the poem and its core ideas. . . . Witty, insightful and readable.
--Pacific Coast Philology
It is refreshing to read an author so attuned to the poem’s aural artistry. . . . Langland would approve.
--Yearbook of Langland Studies