Medieval Romance and Material Culture

February 2015
14 colour, 21 black and white illustrations
311 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Medieval Romance
ISBN: 9781843843900
Format: Hardback
Library eBook

Medieval Romance and Material Culture

Edited by Nicholas Perkins

Studies of how the physical manifests itself in medieval romance - and medieval romances as objects themselves.
Medieval romance narratives glitter with the material objects that were valued and exchanged in late-medieval society: lovers' rings and warriors' swords, holy relics and desirable or corrupted bodies. Romance, however, is also a genre in which such objects make meaning on numerous levels, and not always in predictable ways. These new essays examine from diverse perspectives how romances respond to material culture, but also show how romance as a genre helps to constitute and transmit that culture. Focusing on romances circulating in Britain and Ireland between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries, individual chapters address such questions as the relationship between objects and protagonists in romance narrative; the materiality of male and female bodies; the interaction between visual and verbal representations of romance; poetic form and manuscript textuality; and how a nineteenth-century edition of medieval romances provoked artists to homage and satire.

NICHOLAS PERKINS is Associate Professor and Tutor in English at St Hugh's College, University of Oxford.

Contributors: Siobhain Bly Calkin, Nancy Mason Bradbury, Aisling Byrne, Anna Caughey, Neil Cartlidge, Mark Cruse, Morgan Dickson, Rosalind Field, Elliot Kendall, Megan G. Leitch, Henrike Manuwald, Nicholas Perkins, Ad Putter, Raluca L. Radulescu, Robert Allen Rouse,

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Materiality of Medieval Romance and The Erle of Tolous - Nicholas Perkins
Courtly Culture and Emotional Intelligence in The Romance of Horn - Rosalind Field
Emplaced Reading, or Towards a Spatial Hermeneutic for Medieval Romance - Robert Rouse
Devotional Objects, Saracen Spaces and Miracles in Two Matter of France Romances - Siobhain Bly Calkin
The Werewolf of Wicklow: Shapeshifting and Colonial Identity in the Lai de Melion - Neil Cartlidge
'Ladyes war at thare avowing': The Female Gaze in Late-Medieval Scottish Romance - Anna Caughey
The Evolution of Cooperation in The Avowyng of Arthur - Elliot Kendall
Ritual, Revenge and the Politics of Chess in Medieval Romance -
Adventures in the Bob-and-Wheel Tradition: Narratives and Manuscripts - Ad Putter
Reading King Robert of Sicily's Text(s) and Manuscript Context(s) - Raluca Radulescu
The Circulation of Romances from England in Late-Medieval Ireland - Aisling Byrne
The Image of the Knightly Harper: Symbolism and Resonance - Morgan Dickson
Carving the Folie Tristan: Ivory Caskets as Material Evidence of Textual History - Henrike Manuwald
Romancing the Orient: The Roman d'Alexandre and Marco Polo's Livre du grand Khan in Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Bodl. 264 - Mark Cruse
The Victorian Afterlife of the Thornton Romances - Nancy Mason Bradbury


Vigorously engages with current work on materialisms. REVIEW OF ENGLISH STUDIES

From cover to cover, this book is hard to put down. The prose, the content, and ultimately the context give much pause to consider new angles in medieval material culture scholarship. COMITATUS

The variety and richness of medieval culture are amply served by the range of studies. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

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