Medieval Romance, Medieval Contexts

March 2011
2 line illustrations
208 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Medieval Romance
ISBN: 9781843842606
Format: Hardback
Library eBook

Medieval Romance, Medieval Contexts

Edited by Rhiannon Purdie, Michael Cichon

The popular genre of medieval romance explored in its physical, geographical, and literary contexts.
The essays in this volume take a representative selection of English and Scottish romances from the medieval period and explore some of their medieval contexts, deepening our understanding not only of the romances concerned but also of the specific medieval contexts that produced or influenced them. The contexts explored here include traditional literary features such as genre and rhetorical technique and literary-cultural questions of authorship, transmission and readership; but they also extend to such broader intellectual and social contexts as medieval understandings of geography, the physiology of swooning, or the efficacy of baptism. A framing context for the volume is provided by Derek Pearsall's prefatory essay, in which he revisits his seminal 1965 article on the development of Middle English romance.

Rhiannon Purdie is Senior Lecturer in English, University of St Andrews; Michael Cichon is Associate Professor of English at St Thomas More College in the University of Saskatchewan.

Contributors: Derek Pearsall, Nancy Mason Bradbury, Michael Cichon, Nicholas Perkins, Marianne Ailes, John A. Geck, Phillipa Hardman, Siobhain Bly Calkin, Judith Weiss, Robert Rouse, Yin Liu, Emily Wingfield, Rosalind Field

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Romance and its Medieval Contexts - Rhiannon Purdie and Michael Cichon
The Pleasure of Popular Romance: A Prefatory Essay - Derek Pearsall
Representations of Peasant Speech: Some Literary and Social Contexts for The Taill of Rauf Coilyear - Nancy Mason Bradbury
'As ye have brewd, so shal ye drink': the Proverbial Context of Eger and Grime - Michael Cichon
Ekphrasis and Narrative in Emaré and Sir Eglamour of Artois - Nicholas Perkins
What's in a name? Anglo-Norman Romances or Chansons de geste? - Marianne Ailes
'For Goddes love, sir, mercy!': Recontextualising the Modern Critical Text of Floris and Blancheflor - John A. Geck
Roland in England: Contextualising the Middle English Song of Roland - Phillipa Hardman
Romance Baptisms and Theological Contexts in The King of Tars and Sir Ferumbras - Siobhain Bly Calkin
Modern and Medieval Views on Swooning: the Literary and Medical Contexts of Fainting in Romance - Judith Weiss
Walking [between] the Lines: Romance as Itinerary/Map - Robert Rouse
Romances of Continuity in the English Rous Roll - Yin Liu
'Ex libris domini Duncani Campbell de Glenwrquhay/miles': The Buik of King Alexander the Conquerour in the household of Sir Duncan Campbell, seventh laird of Glenorchy - Emily Wingfield
'Pur les francs homes amender': Clerical Authors and the Thirteenth-Century Context of Historical Romance - Rosalind Field


[T]his fine collection offers romance scholars much to think about. ARTHURIANA

[G]ives substantial (and much-welcomed) attention to Scottish romance in Scottish contexts, alongside a good range of other English and Anglo-Norman romances from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. REVIEW OF ENGLISH STUDIES

The papers assembled in this volume are a selection of those given at the biennal 'Romance in Medieval Britain' conference [...] and are a reminder of how influential those conferences have been in promoting the study of less-well known romances. MEDIUM AEVUM

D. S. Brewer's Studies in Medieval Romance series performs a valuable service for scholars of romance [...] The essays in Medieval Romance, Medieval Contexts offer extended engagements with particular romance texts, many of them rarely encountered even in romance scholarship, and with a range of meaningful contexts. Students of medieval English and Scottish romance will be turning to this collection for careful and informative readings of the particular texts. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

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