Law, Literature, and Social Regulation in Early Medieval England
Title Details

310 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

Series: Anglo-Saxon Studies

Series Vol. Number: 47

Imprint: Boydell Press

Law, Literature, and Social Regulation in Early Medieval England

Edited by Andrew Rabin and Anya Adair

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
Valuable new insights into the multi-layered and multi-directional relationship of law, literature, and social regulation in pre-Conquest English society.

Pre-Conquest English law was among the most sophisticated in early medieval Europe. Composed largely in the vernacular, it played a crucial role in the evolution of early English identity and exercised a formative influence on the development of the Common Law. However, recent scholarship has also revealed the significant influence of these legal documents and ideas on other cultural domains, both modern and pre-modern. This collection explores the richness of pre-Conquest legal writing by looking beyond its traditional codified form. Drawing on methodologies ranging from traditional philology to legal and literary theory, and from a diverse selection of contributors offering a broad spectrum of disciplines, specialities and perspectives, the essays examine the intersection between traditional juridical texts - from law codes and charters to treatises and religious regulation - and a wide range of literary genres, including hagiography and heroic poetry. In doing so, they demonstrate that the boundary that has traditionally separated "law" from other modes of thought and writing is far more porous than hitherto realized. Overall, the volume yields valuable new insights into the multi-layered and multi-directional relationship of law, literature, and social regulation in pre-Conquest English society.
Introduction: Law as Literature/Literature as Law
Andrew Rabin and Anya Adair

Part I. Law and Literature: Normative Alliances

1. The Alfredian Prose Psalms and a Legal English Identity
Jay Paul Gates

2. Cynescipe, Bishop Æthelwold, and the Spread of Legal Language
Arendse Lund

3. Traces and Supplements: Literary Prose in Sawyer 404
Scott T. Smith

4. The Curious Incident of the Monster in the Night-Time: Circumstantial Evidence in Law and Poetry
Anya Adair

5. Uncertain Judgment: The Ordeal in Hagiography and Law
Andrew Rabin

Part II. Literature and Law: Normative Renewals

6. The Historical and Literary Context of the Legatine Capitulary of 786 in England and Abroad
Kristen Carella


7. Liturgy as Law: Coronation Ordines in Tenth-Century England
Nicole Marafioti

8. The Passive Ealdorman? Juxtaposing the later Old English Law Codes and the 'Dispute Narratives'
Mary Elizabeth Blanchard

9. Royal Reeves, Royal Authority, and the 'Holy Society' in Archbishop Wulfstan's Writings
Chelsea Shields-Más

10. Laying Down the Law? Bishop Headda's Visit to Saint Guthlac
Stefan Jurasinski

11. The Terms of Hypocrisy in Early English Law and Literature: Ælfric and Wulfstan
Sherif Abdelkarim

Andrew Rabin is a Professor in the English Department at the University of Louisville.

Anya Adair is Assistant Professor in law and humanities at the University of Hong Kong.

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9781783277605

February 2023

$105.00 / £70.00

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9781800109247

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Title Details

310 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

Series: Anglo-Saxon Studies

Series Vol. Number: 47

Imprint: Boydell Press