Although Hoccleve traces his recovery from mental illness to a spiritual intervention on All Hallows, his social recovery required the society of his peers. Hoccleve encoded this recovery into his Series, depicting a conversation with a friend about his stability and desire to continue writing. Similarly, a conversation with an old man dominated the prologue to the Regiment of Princes, in which Hoccleve sought career and life advice from a wise and caring passer-by. His contacts and connections were remedy as well as motivation to overcome his ills. Much critical work on Hoccleve centers on the emotions he portrays, and how his life was touched by the poverty, precarity, and anonymity of late medieval England. Hoccleve imagined a recovery jointly financial, psychic, and physical, one that required an unraveling of his social disaffection.
Join us on 1 November 2015 in celebrating Hoccleve’s recovery of his London community by participating in this social media event, in which we touch on Hoccleve’s struggle with mental health by exploring the ways our lives touch each other within networks of wellness and support. We invite you to post passages or images related to Hoccleve or his medieval peers, perhaps favorite lines from his poetry, a testimonial on why these verses should be remembered, or encouragement to Hoccleve and to each other in our daily efforts at the Privy Seal or in the academy. Please identify your posts and tweets with the hashtag #Hoccleve, and feel free to “like” or retweet thematically pertinent items throughout the day under this hashtag. You may also attach other tags (#memory, #medievalistproblems, #emotion, #MSilluminations, etc.) after #Hoccleve as they are relevant. We will kick off the event with posts on our Twitter feed, Facebook account, and Tumblr page. So please follow us there and on this site!