To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This ambitious book presents the first sustained analysis of the evolving representation of Cuthbert, the premier saint of northern England. The study spans both major and neglected texts across eight centuries, from his earliest depictions in anonymous and Bedan vitae, through twelfth-century ecclesiastical histories and miracle collections produced at Durham, to his late medieval appearances in Latin meditations, legendaries, and vernacular verse. Whitehead reveals the coherence of these texts as one tradition, exploring the way that ideologies and literary strategies persist across generations. An innovative addition to the literature of insular spirituality and hagiography, The Afterlife of St Cuthbert emphasises the related categories of place and asceticism. It charts Cuthbert's conceptual alignment with a range of institutional, masculine, northern, and national spaces, and examines the distinctive characteristics and changing value of his ascetic lifestyle and environment - frequently constituted as a nature sanctuary - interrogating its relation to his other jurisdictions.
Where do we go after we die? This book traces how the European Middle Ages offered distinctive answers to this universal question, evolving from Antiquity through to the sixteenth century, to reflect a variety of problems and developments. Focussing on texts describing visions of the afterlife, alongside art and theology, this volume explores heaven, hell, and purgatory as they were imagined across Europe, as well as by noted authors including Gregory the Great and Dante. A cross-disciplinary team of contributors including historians, literary scholars, classicists, art historians and theologians offer not only a fascinating sketch of both medieval perceptions and the wide scholarship on this question: they also provide a much-needed new perspective. Where the twelfth century was once the 'high point' of the medieval afterlife, the essays here show that the afterlife of the early and later Middle Ages were far more important and imaginative than we once thought.
The scholarship and teaching of manuscript studies has been transformed by digitisation, rendering previously rarefied documents accessible for study on a vast scale. The Cambridge Companion to Medieval British Manuscripts orientates students in the complex, multidisciplinary study of medieval book production and contemporary display of manuscripts from c.600–1500. Accessible explanations draw on key case studies to illustrate the major methodologies and explain why skills in understanding early book production are so critical for reading, editing, and accessing a rich cultural heritage. Chapters by leading specialists in manuscript studies range from explaining how manuscripts were stored, to revealing the complex networks of readers and writers which can be understood through manuscripts, to an in depth discussion on the Wycliffite Bible.
This book explores the cultural and intellectual stakes of medieval and renaissance Britain's sense of itself as living in the shadow of Rome: a city whose name could designate the ancient, fallen, quintessentially human power that had conquered and colonized Britain, and also the alternately sanctified and demonized Roman Church. Wallace takes medieval texts in a range of languages (including Latin, medieval Welsh, Old English and Old French) and places them in conversation with early modern English and humanistic Latin texts (including works by Gildas, Bede, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Bacon, St. Augustine, Dante, Erasmus, Luther and Montaigne). 'The Ordinary', 'The Self', 'The Word', and 'The Dead' are taken as compass points by which individuals lived out their orientations to, and against, Rome, isolating important dimensions of Rome's enduring ability to shape and complicate the effort to come to terms with the nature of self and the structure of human community.
Orietta Da Rold provides a detailed analysis of the coming of paper to medieval England, and its influence on the literary and non-literary culture of the period. Looking beyond book production, Da Rold maps out the uses of paper and explains the success of this technology in medieval culture, considering how people interacted with it and how it affected their lives. Offering a nuanced understanding of how affordance influenced societal choices, Paper in Medieval England draws on a multilingual array of sources to investigate how paper circulated, was written upon, and was deployed by people across medieval society, from kings to merchants, to bishops, to clerks and to poets, contributing to an understanding of how medieval paper changed communication and shaped modernity.
Chaucer's best-known poem, The Canterbury Tales, is justly celebrated for its richness and variety, both literary - the Tales include fabliaux, romances, sermons, hagiographies, fantasies, satires, treatises, fables and exempla - and thematic, with its explorations of courtly love and scatology, piety and impiety, chivalry and pacifism, fidelity and adultery. Students new to Chaucer will find in this Companion a lively introduction to the poem's diversity, depth, and wonder. Readers returning to the Tales will appreciate the chapters' fresh engagement with the individual tales and their often complicated critical histories, inflected in recent decades by critical approaches attentive to issues of gender, sexuality, class, and language.
The thirteenth-century allegorical dream vision, the Roman de la Rose, transformed how medieval literary texts engaged with philosophical ideas. Written in Old French, its influence dominated French, English and Italian literature for the next two centuries, serving in particular as a model for Chaucer and Dante. Jean de Meun's section of this extensive, complex and dazzling work is notable for its sophisticated responses to a whole host of contemporary philosophical debates. This collection brings together literary scholars and historians of philosophy to produce the most thorough, interdisciplinary study to date of how the Rose uses poetry to articulate philosophical problems and positions. This wide-ranging collection demonstrates the importance of the poem for medieval intellectual history and offers new insights into the philosophical potential both of the Rose specifically and of medieval poetry as a whole.
This book is a major re-appraisal of the Commedia as originally envisaged by Dante: as a work of ethics. Privileging the ethical, Corbett increases our appreciation of Dante's eschatological innovations and literary genius. Drawing upon a wider range of moral contexts than in previous studies, this book presents an overarching account of the complex ordering and political programme of Dante's afterlife. Balancing close readings with a lucid overview of Dante's Commedia as an ethical and political manifesto, Corbett cogently approaches the poem through its moral structure. The book provides detailed interpretations of three particularly significant vices - pride, sloth, and avarice - and the three terraces of Purgatory devoted to them. While scholars register Dante's explicit confession of pride, the volume uncovers Dante's implicit confession of sloth and prodigality (the opposing subvice of avarice) through Statius, his moral cypher.
Drawing extensively on unpublished manuscript sources, this study uncovers the culture of experimentation that surrounded biblical exegesis in fourteenth-century England. In an area ripe for revision, Andrew Kraebel challenges the accepted theory (inherited from Reformation writers) that medieval English Bible translations represent a proto-Protestant rejection of scholastic modes of interpretation. Instead, he argues that early translators were themselves part of a larger scholastic interpretive tradition, and that they tried to make that tradition available to a broader audience. Translation was thus one among many ways that English exegetes experimented with the possibilities of commentary. With a wide scope, the book focuses on works by writers from the heretic John Wyclif to the hermit Richard Rolle, alongside a host of lesser-known authors, including Henry Cossey and Nicholas Trevet, and many anonymous texts. The study provides new insight into the ingenuity of medieval interpreters willing to develop new literary-critical methods and embrace intellectual risks.
History writing in the Middle Ages did not belong to any particular genre, language or class of texts. Its remit was wide, embracing the events of antiquity; the deeds of saints, rulers and abbots; archival practices; and contemporary reportage. This volume addresses the challenges presented by medieval historiography by using the diverse methodologies of medieval studies: legal and literary history, art history, religious studies, codicology, the history of the emotions, gender studies and critical race theory. Spanning one thousand years of historiography in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, the essays map historical thinking across literary genres and expose the rich veins of national mythmaking tapped into by medieval writers. Additionally, they attend to the ways in which medieval histories crossed linguistic and geographical borders. Together, they trace multiple temporalities and productive anachronisms that fuelled some of the most innovative medieval writing.
Literary authors, especially those with other occupations, must come to grips with the question of why they should write at all, when the world urges them to devote their time and energy to other pursuits. They must reach, at the very least, a provisional conclusion regarding the relation between the uncertain value of their literary efforts and the more immediate values of their non-authorial social identities. Geoffrey Chaucer, with his several middle-strata identities, grappled with this question in a remarkably searching, complex manner. In this book, Robert J. Meyer-Lee examines the multiform, dynamic meditation on the relation between literary value and social identity that Chaucer stitched into the heart of The Canterbury Tales. He traces the unfolding of this meditation through what he shows to be the tightly linked performances of Clerk, Merchant, Franklin and Squire, offering the first full-scale reading of this sequence.
Despite an unprecedented level of interest in the interaction between law and literature over the past two decades, readers have had no accessible introduction to this rich engagement in medieval and early Tudor England. The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Law and Literature addresses this need by combining an authoritative guide through the bewildering maze of medieval law with concise examples illustrating how the law infiltrated literary texts during this period. Foundational chapters written by leading specialists in legal history prepare readers to be guided by noted literary scholars through unexpected conversations with the law found in numerous medieval texts, including major works by Chaucer, Langland, Gower, and Malory. Part I contains detailed introductions to legal concepts, practices and institutions in medieval England, and Part II covers medieval texts and authors whose verse and prose can be understood as engaging with the law.
Geoffrey Chaucer is widely acknowledged as the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. His texts are studied extensively but, in order to be fully appreciated, they demand a nuanced understanding of the medieval period. This volume provides freshly illuminated access to Chaucer's writing through an unrivalled repertoire of contextual information and perspectives designed to enhance the independence and critical capacities of his modern readers. The featured essays are written not only by distinguished literary scholars but also by leading international historians. Geoffrey Chaucer in Context is an essential reference tool for anyone studying Chaucer and will help readers to identify his different voices and engage with the complexity and colour of his times with new awareness.
The literature of Wales is one of the oldest continuous literary traditions in Europe. The earliest surviving poetry was forged in the battlefields of post-Roman Wales and the 'Old North' of Britain, and the Welsh-language poets of today still write within the same poetic tradition. In the early twentieth century, Welsh writers in English outnumbered writers in Welsh for the first time, generating new modes of writing and a crisis of national identity which began to resolve itself at the end of the twentieth century with the political devolution of Wales within the United Kingdom. By considering the two literatures side by side, this book argues that bilingualism is now a normative condition in Wales. Written by leading scholars, this book provides a comprehensive chronological guide to fifteen centuries of Welsh literature and Welsh writing in English against a backdrop of key historical and political events in Britain.
Representations of feeling in medieval literature are varied and complex. This new collection of essays demonstrates that the history of emotions and affect theory are similarly insufficient for investigating the intersection of body and mind that late Middle English literatures evoke. While medieval studies has generated a rich scholarly literature on 'affective piety', this collection charts an intersectional new investigation of affects, feelings, and emotions in non-religious contexts. From Geoffrey Chaucer to Gavin Douglas, and from practices of witnessing to the adoration of objects, essays in this volume analyze the coexistence of emotion and affect in late medieval representations of feeling.
The corpus of Palaiologan romances consists of about a dozen works of imaginative fiction from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries which narrate the trials and tribulations of aristocratic young lovers. This volume brings together leading scholars of Byzantine literature to examine the corpus afresh and aims to be the definitive work on the subject, suitable for scholars and students of all levels. It offers interdisciplinary and transnational approaches which demonstrate the aesthetic and cultural value of these works in their own right and their centrality to the medieval and early modern Greek, European and Mediterranean literary traditions. From a historical perspective, the volume also emphasizes how the romances represent a turning point in the history of Greek letters: they are a repository of both ancient and medieval oral poetic and novelistic traditions and yet are often considered the earliest works of Modern Greek literature.
How were the Crusades, and the crusaders, narrated, described, and romanticised by the various communities that experienced or remembered them? This Companion provides a critical overview of the diverse and multilingual literary output connected with crusading over the last millennium, from the first writings which sought to understand and report on what was happening, to contemporary medievalism, in which crusading is a potent image of holy war and jihad. The chapters show the enduring legacy of the crusaders' imagery, from the chansons de geste to Walter Scott, from Charlemagne to Orlando Bloom. Whilst the crusaders' hold on Jerusalem was relatively short-lived, the desire for Jerusalem has had a long afterlife in many cultural contexts and media.
The 2004 announcement that Chaucer's scribe had been discovered resulted in a paradigm shift in medieval studies. Adam Pynkhurst dominated the classroom, became a fictional character, and led to suggestions that this identification should prompt the abandonment of our understanding of the development of London English and acceptance that the clerks of the Guildhall were promoting vernacular literature as part of a concerted political program. In this meticulously researched study, Lawrence Warner challenges the narratives and conclusions of recent scholarship. In place of the accepted story, Warner provides a fresh, more nuanced one in which many more scribes, anonymous ones, worked in conditions we are only beginning to understand. Bringing to light new information, not least, hundreds of documents in the hand of one of the most important fifteenth-century scribes of Chaucer and Langland, this book represents an important intervention in the field of Middle English studies.
The 'long twelfth century' (1075–1225) was an era of seminal importance in the development of the book in medieval Europe and marked a high point in its construction and decoration. This comprehensive study takes the cultural changes that occurred during the 'twelfth-century Renaissance' as its point of departure to provide an overview of manuscript culture encompassing the whole of Western Europe. Written by senior scholars, chapters are divided into three sections: the technical aspects of making books; the processes and practices of reading and keeping books; and the transmission of texts in the disciplines that saw significant change in the period, including medicine, law, philosophy, liturgy, and theology. Richly illustrated, the volume provides the first in-depth account of book production as a European phenomenon.
The mouth, responsible for both physical and spiritual functions - eating, drinking, breathing, praying and confessing - was of immediate importance to medieval thinking about the nature of the human being. Where scholars have traditionally focused on the mouth's grotesque excesses, Katie L. Walter argues for the recuperation of its material 'everyday' aspect. Walter's original study draws on two rich archives: one comprising Middle English theology (Langland, Julian of Norwich, Lydgate, Chaucer) and pastoral writings; the other broadly medical and surgical, including learned encyclopaedias and vernacular translations and treatises. Challenging several critical orthodoxies about the centrality of sight, the hierarchy of the senses and the separation of religious from medical discourses, the book reveals the centrality of the mouth, taste and touch to human modes of knowing and to Christian identity.