In the article, "William Langland: A London Poet" writer Caroline M. Barron investigates who Langland is using materials from the poem as well as materials from possible contemporaries of the time. Since scholars are able to discern the region and time period where Piers Plowman was written, they are able to work backwards to use that material to examine the "Wills" and who William Langland could have been. The textile materials give us evidence on what Langland could have been trying to do with his work and the commentary he was making upon his actual time period. Some of these investigation includes the law and court system as well as the royal courts and religious issues, such as Lollard's, which was becoming a prominent element.
Barron's assessment of how we understand who William Langland is shows an all around look. I liked the fact that the writer did not limit herself to the text but made use of what many scholars believe to be the time period of Langland as well as her assertion that he was in fact a "Londoner" or at least familiar with London. For me, I saw her take care into representing Langland as well as thinking about what it was that other scholars were working with. I would not have considered questioning the mentions of Williams or William Langland's during the time or even how scholars came to understand Langland to be the writer of the text. Barron also pays special close attention to the naming or the naming references within the text, and in examining the location she was able to establish the London area. And as such, she was able to keep focus on the element that the text focuses on the London government, as she argues. She goes further into how the government in London helped to make the the moral arguments that Langland presents throughout his text.
Overall, the article was an interesting representation. Rather than thinking about the text and how each character represents something, Barron takes an overview examination of the text. This could lead to the problem of vagueness within the writing, which is evident, but this article would be one that first time readers of Piers Plowman would be able to read through without the need for close text reading. However, for those that do close text reading there were moments where Barron could have gone deeper and flesh out her ideas.