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Fiction and History in England, 1066–1200


  • Page extent: 260 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.55 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 823.109358
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: PR275.N29 A75 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • English literature--Middle English, 1100-1500--History and criticism
    • English literature--Old English, ca. 450-1100--History and criticism
    • National characteristics, English, in literature
    • Nationalism in literature
    • History in literature

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521878913)

The century and a half following the Norman Conquest of 1066 saw an explosion in the writing of Latin and vernacular history in England, while the creation of the romance genre reinvented the fictional narrative. Where critics have seen these developments as part of a cross-Channel phenomenon, Laura Ashe argues that a genuinely distinctive character can be found in the writings of England during the period. Drawing on a wide range of historical, legal and cultural contexts, she discusses how writers addressed the Conquest and rebuilt their sense of identity as a new, united 'English' people, with their own national literature and culture, in a manner which was to influence all subsequent medieval English literature. This study opens up new ways of reading post-Conquest texts in relation to developments in political and legal history, and in terms of their place in the English Middle Ages as a whole.

• Thoroughly researched, and underpinned by rigourous historical analysis • Of interest to historians as well as literary scholars • Covers both well-known and less well-known, but influential, works of the period


Introduction; 1. The Normans in England: a question of place; 2. 'Nos Engleis': war, chronicle, and the new English; 3. Historical romance: a genre in the making; 4. The English in Ireland: ideologies of race; Epilogue; Bibliography.


'The book is a major contribution to the study of postconquest literature …' The Journal of Speculum

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