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Of the many seminal essays Morton Bloomfield has published over the past three decades, seventeen have been selected for inclusion in this volume. Among them are his classic discussions of Chaucer’s sense of history, the idea of perfection in the Middle Ages, symbolism in medieval literature, the apocalyptic spirit, “authenticating realism,” and “distance” in Troilus. A hitherto unpublished essay, as genuinely exploratory as its predecessors, endeavors to distinguish epic and romance and introduces the concept of “episodic motivation.” Four important essays on language and linguistics have been included, as well as several significant essay-reviews. Individually and collectively these writings bear witness to Morton Bloomfield’s strong interest in ideas, in method, in literature, and in history.