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Reading the Medieval in Early Modern England
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  • 13 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 302 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.61 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 820.9003
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: PR421 .R355 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • English literature--Early modern, 10-1700--History and criticism
    • English literature--Middle English, 1100-10--History and criticism

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521868433)

In English literary and historical studies the border between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, and hence between 'medieval' and 'early modern' studies, has become increasingly permeable. Written by an international group of medievalists and early modernists, the essays in this volume examine the ways in which medieval culture was read and reconstructed by writers, editors and scholars in early modern England. It also addresses the reciprocal process: the way in which early modern England, while apparently suppressing the medieval past, was in fact shaped and constructed by it, albeit in ways that early modern thinkers had an interest in suppressing. The book deals with this process as it is played out not only in literature but also in visual culture - for example in mapping - and in material culture - as in the physical destruction of the medieval past in the early modern English landscape.

• Groups chapters under five coherent headings: Period, Text, Nation, Geography and Reformation • Written by an international team of specialists in their respective fields • Considers the survival of both medieval literature and culture in the early modern period


List of illustrations; Notes on contributors; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction: reading the medieval in early modern England David Matthews and Gordon McMullan; Part I. Period: 1. Diachronic history and the shortcomings of Medieval Studies James Simpson; 2. Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay and the rhetoric of temporality Deanne Williams; Part II. Text: 3. Langland, apocalypse and the early modern editor Larry Scanlon; 4. Public ambition, private desire and the last Tudor Chaucer David Matthews; Part III. Nation: 5. The vulgar history of the Order of the Garter Stephanie Trigg; 6. Myths of origin and the struggle over nationhood in medieval and early modern England Anke Bernau; 7. The colonisation of early Britain on the Jacobean stage Gordon McMullan; Part IV. Geography: 8. Tamburlaine, sacred space and the heritage of medieval cartography Bernhard Klein; 9. Leland's Itinerary and the remains of the medieval past Jennifer Summit; Part V. Reformation: 10. John Bale and reconfiguring the 'medieval' in Reformation England Cathy Shrank; 11. Medieval penance, Reformation repentance and Measure for Measure Sarah Beckwith; 12. Medieval poetics and Protestant Magdalenes Patricia Badir; Afterword David Wallace; Notes; Select bibliography; Index.


David Matthews, Gordon McMullan, James Simpson, Deanne Williams, Larry Scanlon, Stephanie Trigg, Anke Bernau, Bernhard Klein, Jennifer Summit, Cathy Shrank, Sarah Beckwith, Patricia Badir, David Wallace

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