Books to Look Out For in July 2020

This July we are keeping our list short and sweet for you. Enjoy the summer sunshine with Masculinities in Old Norse Literature, or learn about the Monarchy, State and Political Culture in Late Medieval England. We offer our selection of books to be on the lookout for this July!

Remember, you can get 35% off all of our titles featured in this post with promo code BB685.

Until next time!

Places of Contested Power

Conflict and Rebellion in England and France, 830-1150

Ryan Lavelle

The direct contestation of power played a crucial role in early medieval politics. Such actions, often expressed through violence, reveal much about established authorities, power and lordship.
In this volume the hitherto neglected role of place and landscape in acts of opposition and rebellion is explored for its meaning and significance to the protagonists. It includes a consideration of a range of factors relevant to the choice of location for such events, and examines the declarations and motivations of political actors, from disaffected princes to independently minded nobles, as well as those who responded to rebellion, to show how places and landscapes became used in political disputes. These include both “public” and “private”, religious, urban and rural space, in England and northern France, from the late Carolingian period through to the aftermath of the Norman Conquest.

Reliquary Tabernacles in Fourteenth-Century Italy

Image, Relic and Material Culture

Beth Williamson

Images and relics were central tools in the process of devotional practice in medieval Europe. The reliquary tabernacles that emerged in the 1340s, in the area of Central Italy surrounding the city of Siena, combined images and relics, presented visibly together, within painted and decorated wooden frames. In these tabernacles the various media and materials worked together to create a powerful and captivating ensemble, usable in several contexts, both in procession and static, as the centre of focussed, prayerful attention. This first full-length study of these enigmatic artefacts focuses on their materiality, investigating the connotations and effects.

Old English Lexicology and Lexicography

Essays in Honor of Antonette diPaolo Healey

Edited by Maren Clegg Hyer, Haruko Momma & Samantha Zacher

Dedicated to honoring the remarkable achievements of Dr Antonette di Paolo Healey, the architect and lexicographer of the Old English Concordance, the Dictionary of Old English Web Corpus, and the Dictionary of Old English, the essays in this volume reflect firsthand the research made possible by Dr. Healey’s landmark contributions to her field. Each chapter highlights how the careful consideration and study of words can lead to greater insights, from an understanding of early medieval English concepts of time and identity, to reconceptualizations of canonical Old English poems, reappraisals of early medieval English authors and their works, greater understanding of the semantic fields of Old English words and manuscript traditions, and the solving of lexical puzzles.

Masculinities in Old Norse Literature

Edited by Gareth Lloyd Evans & Jessica Clare Hancock

Compared to other areas of medieval literature, the question of masculinity in Old Norse-Icelandic literature has been understudied, a neglect which this volume aims to rectify. The essays collected here introduce and analyse a spectrum of masculinities, from the sagas of Icelanders, contemporary sagas, kings’ sagas, legendary sagas, chivalric sagas, bishops’ sagas, and eddic and skaldic verse, producing a broad and multifaceted understanding of what it means to be masculine in Old Norse-Icelandic texts. A critical introduction places the essays in their scholarly context, providing the reader with a concise orientation in gender studies and the study of masculinities in Old Norse-Icelandic literature.

Monarchy, State and Political Culture in Late Medieval England

Essays in Honour of W. Mark Ormrod

Edited by Gwilym Dodd & Craig Taylor

The essays collected here celebrate the distinguished career of Professor W. Mark Ormrod, reflecting the vibrancy and range of his scholarship on the structures, personalities and culture of ruling late medieval England. Encompassing political, administrative, Church and social history, the volume focusses on three main themes: monarchy, state and political culture. Particular topics addressed include Edward III’s reactions to the deaths of his kinfolk and close associates; political defamation in the fourteenth century; the function and jurisdiction of the Court of Chivalry; the working practices of the privy seal clerk, Thomas Hoccleve; and the political culture of regulation and code-breaking, via discussion of the household ordinances of Cecily, duchess of York.

A Critical Companion to Old Norse Literary Genre

Edited by Massimiliano Bampi, Carolyne Larrington & Sif Rikhardsdottir

In Old Norse studies, genre has been central to the categorisation, evaluation and understanding of medieval prose and poetry alike; yet its definition has been elusive and its implications often left unexplored. This volume opens up fundamental questions about Old Norse genre in theory and in practice. It offers an extensive range of theoretical approaches, investigating and critiquing current terms and situating its arguments within early Scandinavian and Icelandic oral-literary and manuscript contexts. It maps the ways in which genre and form engage with key thematic areas within the literary corpus, noting the different kinds of impact upon the genre system brought about by conversion to Christianity, the gradual adoption of European literary models, and social and cultural changes occurring in Scandinavian society; while a case-study section probes both prototypical and hard-to-define cases.

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