By Head of the English Department and Professor of Medieval Literature Elaine Treharne, Greg Walker
The learn of medieval literature has skilled a revolution within the final twenty years, which has reinvigorated many components of the self-discipline and altered the form of the topic with regards to the scholarship of the former new release. 'New' texts (laws and penitentials, women's writing, drama records), cutting edge fields and items of analysis (the heritage of the booklet, the examine of house and the physique, medieval masculinities), and unique methods of learning them (the Sociology of the textual content, functionality reviews) have emerged. This has introduced clean power and impetus to medieval stories, and impacted considerably on cognate sessions and parts. The Oxford guide of Medieval Literature in English brings jointly the insights of those new fields and techniques with these of extra known texts and techniques of analysis, to supply a accomplished evaluation of the kingdom of medieval literature this day. It additionally returns to first ideas in posing basic questions about the character, scope, and value of the self-discipline, and the instructions that it could take up the subsequent decade.The guide comprises 35 newly commissioned essays from either world-leading students and fascinating new scholarly voices. issues coated variety from the canonical genres of Saints' lives, sermons, romance, lyric poetry, and heroic poetry; significant topics together with monstrosity and marginality, patronage and literary politics, manuscript reviews and vernacularity are investigated; and there are shut readings of key texts, equivalent to Beowulf, Wulf and Eadwacer, and Ancrene Wisse and key authors from AElfric to Geoffrey Chaucer, Langland, and the Gawain Poet.
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Extra resources for The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English (Oxford Handbooks in Literature)
13 This fact is one indication of the literary importance of such monastic houses as catalysts in the transition from Old to Middle English. Early long poems like Layamon’s Brut and Robert of Gloucester’s Chronicle, as well as such collections as 7 8 10 12 13 See Parkes and Tschann (1996). See Dobson (1977). 9 See Tolkien (1929). See McIntosh (1976). 11 See Beadle (1991). See Brewer (1956); Dobson (1977). Go¨rlach (1974: 45–54). books and manuscripts 21 the South English Legendary, were probably produced under their auspices.
These texts are known to us because they were written, copied, altered, or translated at a certain point in history to satisfy a changing demand and intellectual curiosity. Although some works survive in only one manuscript and others are fragmentary, the number of surviving manuscripts offers important evidence to think about who copied them, for whom, and for what reason. 1 It will consider the complicated process of the making of a manuscript from several perspectives: it will look at the difﬁcult relationship between scribes and authors; it will evaluate the different writing environments in which manuscripts 1 I would like to thank Mary Swan, Andrew Merrills, and the editors for reading a draft of the essay and offering valuable suggestions.
37 He preserves a number of unique copies of lyrics by the latter; see Connolly (1998) for the fullest account of his activities. 38 For a description see Blanchﬁeld (1996). books and manuscripts 27 that he was a professional scribe, but one who served markets satisﬁed with modestly produced manuscripts. 39 Once again the contents are largely English verse but not as variegated in their range as in the collections of Thornton and Shirley. The contents are predominantly religious: some pious romances, Sir Gowther and Sir Isumbras, part of Lydgate’s Life of Our Lady, and William Lichﬁeld’s Complaint of God are among the longer works included.