Holy and Noble Beasts

Holy and Noble Beasts

Encounters with Animals in Medieval Literature

David Salter

Hardback
$99.00

D.S.Brewer

Overview

Overview

Through an analysis of literary sources, the book explores the broad range of attitudes towards animals and the natural world current in Western Europe during the later middle ages.
Because animals are neither wholly similar to, nor entirely different from, human beings, they have provided men and women with an endlessly fruitful point of departure from which to explore what it means to be human. The way in which human identity is inextricably bound up with the animal kingdom is particularly evident in medieval hagiography and romance (arguably the two most popular and prestigious genres of medieval literature), where the holiness of saints and the heroism of knights is frequently revealed through their miraculous encounters with wild beasts. Through an analysis of these literary sources, the book explores the broad range of attitudes towards animals and the natural world that were current in western Europe during the later middle ages. It argues that through their depictions of animals, medieval writers were not only able to reflect upon their own humanity, but were also able to explore the meaning of more abstract values and ideas (such as civility, sanctity and nobility) that were central to the culture of the time.

Dr DAVID SALTER is a Lecturer in English at the University of Edinburgh.

Details

November 2001
2 black and white illustrations
176 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9780859916240
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
D.S.Brewer
BIC DSBB
BISAC LCO003000
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