Myra Seaman
Search for other papers by Myra Seaman in
Current site
Google Scholar
Objects of liberation
in Objects of affection
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

Despite the significant weaknesses (seen in human attempts at severing communion with the non-human, both worldly and divine) elsewhere in the collection, MS Ashmole 61 concludes with three vivid narratives of successful human reincorporation. St Margaret provides a transitional model, with the saint’s body a battleground on which false sacraments are transformed into true ones (boiling oil becomes holy unction; water torture becomes baptism) through the heroine’s collaboration with a piece of the holy cross, an angel, evil dragons, and her own prayer. This poem harmonises previously ruptured material and spiritual elements. Sir Orfeo models selective rewriting through the transformation of the classic tale of loss into one of recuperation, achieved by the hero through rejecting his human exceptionalism and uniting with his harp and living harmoniously among wild animals, ultimately becoming a human-tree hybrid that achieves his aims through working with rather than fighting his non-human opponent. The collection ends with the unique text King Edward and the Hermit, in which a scene of potential disharmony – latent in deer carcasses that in a different assemblage would have generated royal ire – is prevented through the intervention of a game that, with the assistance of alcohol, successfully reconstructs a relationship.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Objects of affection

The book and the household in late medieval England


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 119 14 1
Full Text Views 0 0 0
PDF Downloads 0 0 0