Representing War and Violence, 1250-1600

Representing War and Violence, 1250-1600

Edited by Joanna Bellis, Laura Slater


Boydell Press



An examination of written and other responses to conflict in a variety of forms and genres, from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century.
War and violence took many forms in medieval and early modern Europe, from political and territorial conflict to judicial and social spectacle; from religious persecution and crusade to self-mortification and martyrdom; from comedic brutality to civil and domestic aggression. Various cultural frameworks conditioned both the acceptance of these forms of violence, and the protest that they met with: the elusive concept of chivalry, Christianity and just war theory, political ambition and the machinery of propaganda, literary genres and the expectations they generated and challenged.
The essays here, from the disciplines of history, art history and literature, explore how violence and conflict were documented, depicted, narrated and debated during this period. They consider manuals created for and addressed directly to kings and aristocratic patrons; romances whose affective treatments of violence invited profoundly empathetic, even troublingly pleasurable, responses; diaries and "autobiographies" compiled on the field and redacted for publication and self-promotion. The ethics and aesthetics of representation, as much as the violence being represented, emerge as a profound and constant theme for writers and artists grappling with this most fundamental and difficult topic of human experience.

Joanna Bellis is the Fitzjames Research Fellow in Old and Middle English at Merton College, Oxford; Laura Slater holds a Postdoctoral Fellowship from The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London.

Contributors: Anne Baden-Daintree, Anne Curry, David Grummitt, Richard W. Kaeuper, Andrew Lynch, Christina Normore, Laura Slater, Sara V. Torres, Matthew Woodcock,


5 colour illustrations
232 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Hardback, 9781783271559, September 2016
eBook, 9781782048367, September 2016
Boydell Press
BISAC LIT011000, LIT004130, HIS037010
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Table of Contents

'Representation' and Medieval Mediations of Violence - Joanna Bellis and Laura Slater
Medieval Warfare-Representation Then and Now - Richard W Kaeuper
Depicting Defeat in the Grandes Chroniques de France - Christina Normore
Visualising War: the Aesthetics of Violence in the Alliterative Morte Arthure - Anne Baden-Daintree
'With face pale': Melancholy Violence in John Lydgate's Troy and Thebes - Andrew Lynch
'In Praise of Peace' in Late Medieval England - Sara V. Torres
Representing Political Violence in La Estoire de Seint Aedward le Rei - Laura Slater
Representing War and Conquest, 1415-1429: the Evidence of College of Arms Manuscript M9 - Anne Curry
Tudor Soldier-Authors and the Art of Military Autobiography - Matthew Woodcock
Three Narratives of the Fall of Calais in 1558: Explaining Defeat in Tudor England - David Grummitt


Representing War and Violence is a valuable and enjoyable read. The editors are to be commended for bringing together such a variety of innovative material and for synthesizing these pieces in a clear and cohesive dialogue. They have provided an admirable model for future collections of interdisciplinary research across the field of medieval studies. LEFT HISTORY

Also by Author