Cultural Encounters in the Romance of Medieval England

Cultural Encounters in the Romance of Medieval England

Edited by Corinne Saunders


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Medieval English romance considered as both cultural encounter itself, and as bearing witness to such encounter.
Cultural encounter necessarily defines and shapes the romances of medieval England: the fluidity and openness that characterise the romance genre allow it to flourish with particular strength in a world distinguished by its different cultural layers.
The essays in this collection consider both the early insular tradition and later Middle English traditions - classical, Anglo-Saxon and Continental, and the intersection of lay and clerical, as well as the meeting of genres themselves, in particular romance and chronicle. Romance, history and politics are shown to intersect within individual works, while romances also oppose the past and present, savage and civilised, real and ideal, and reflect on the particular cultural dynamics of gender and politics; equally, different cultures meet in the rewriting of material from French to English, from clerical to secular, from medieval to Renaissance.
Romance is shown to be a highly self-conscious mode, as English romanciers play with and reshape its conventions and expectations, and its intersection with reality, in a variety of ways.


February 2005
204 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Medieval Romance
ISBN: 9781843840329
Format: Hardback
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Corinne Saunders
Original and Translation: Bevis's Mother in Anglo-Norman and Middle English - Ivana Djordjevic
Chronicle and Romance: The Story of Ine and Æthelburgh - W A Davenport
The King Over the Water: Exile-and-Return Revisited - Rosalind Field
Ineffectual Monarchs: Portrayals of Regal and Imperial Power in Ipomedon, Robert le Diable and Octavian - Judith Weiss
English Identity and the Law in Havelok the Dane, Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild and Beues of Hamtoun - Robert Rouse
The True Romance of Tristrem and Ysoude - Phillipa Hardman
Did Knights Have Baths? The Absence of Bathing in Middle English Romance - Elizabeth Archibald
Some Notes on `Ennobling Love' and its Successor in Medieval Romance - Derek S Brewer
`Therof seyus clerkus': Slander, Rape and Sir Gowther - Neil Cartlidge
Beyond the Kick: Women's Agency in Athelston - Nancy Mason Bradbury
Torrent of Portyngale and the Literary Giants - Roger Dalrymple
Thomas of Erceldoune: Romance as Prophecy - Helen Cooper


Recommended to literary scholars and the general reader alike for the strength of the individual essays. ENGLISH STUDIES
Lively and wide-ranging. TOEBI NEWSLETTER

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