By Kenneth Sisam, J. R. R. Tolkien
This hugely revered anthology of medieval English literature gains various well-chosen extracts of poetry and prose, including popular stories from Arthurian legend and classical mythology, in addition to the allegorical poem "Piers Plowman" and John Wycliffe's translation of the Bible. contains notes on each one extract, appendices, and an in depth word list through J. R. R. Tolkien.
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Extra resources for A Middle English Reader and Vocabulary
Mrs. Grose appeared to try to be conscientious. ” Again she considered. “Well, Miss—she’s gone. ” I don’t know what there was in the brevity of Mrs. Grose’s that struck me as ambiguous. ” Mrs. Grose looked 31 JAMES’S THE TURN OF THE SCREW straight out of the window. . ” “She was not taken ill, so far as appeared, in this house. She left it, at the end of the year, to go home. . But our young lady never came back. . ” I turned this over. ” (TotS 2: 36) The governess’ interpretation of Mrs.
It is widely treated as a certainty by critics that Miss Jessel was pregnant with Quint’s child when she left and that she died in childbirth, but those suppositions are entirely without textual foundations. Reading too much in the blank spaces of the text duplicates the way the governess’ hermeneutic obsession leads to her certainties of the corruption of the children. Mrs. Grose’s remarks about Quint are similarly vague. For example, were the details that came out at the inquest after his death?
If ten readers were assigned to write down the suppressed words, there would be ten different plausible 30 READING THE TURN OF THE SCREW responses. There is also the possibility that there may be some other reasons for Miles’s expulsion that he is unwilling to say to the governess but under duress he supplies something relatively innocuous (and perhaps that is what the governess feels when she rejects Miles’s answers). Because the story stops exactly as Miles’s “little heart, dispossessed, had stopped,” we never know what the governess feels at that time or years after when she decided to write the manuscript.
A Middle English Reader and Vocabulary by Kenneth Sisam, J. R. R. Tolkien