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Monika Fludernik

Biblical drama in early modern England seems to have been more prevalent than used to be assumed (see Chapter 8 ), yet there are only a few extant texts, the most prominent of which in the early seventeenth century are Thomas Lodge and Robert Greene's A Looking Glasse for London and George Peele's The Love of King David and Fair Bethsabe (respectively discussed in Chapters 10 and 4 in this book). The present contribution therefore takes a more indirect approach to the subject of enacting the Bible in early modern English drama

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
Susan M. Johns

The way that Nest was remembered in the early modern period has much to tell us about the way that Welsh writers conceptualised the past, and this chapter will therefore explore a relatively little examined set of themes in the historiography. It will consider how the critical early years of Norman incursions into Wales were portrayed by later writers and thus discuss the way that later writers conceptualised the Norman past. It will cast reflections on the role of ideas about women, gender and conquest and the place of Nest in a

in Gender, nation and conquest in the high Middle Ages

This collection of essays offers new perspectives that foster our understanding of the crucial role the Bible played in medieval culture as well as in the wake of the Reformation across Europe. The thirteen essays open up new horizons for the study of biblical drama by putting special emphasis on periodisation, the intersections of biblical narrative and performance, and the strategies employed by playwrights to rework and adapt the biblical source material. Special emphasis is placed on multitemporality, transnationality, and the modalities of performance and form in relation to the uses of the Bible in medieval and early modern drama. The three aspects are intertwined: particular modalities of performance evolve, adapt and are re-created as they intersect with different historical times and circumstances. These intersections pertain to aspects such as dramatic traditions, confessional and religious rites, dogmas and debates, conceptualisations of performance and form, and audience response – whenever the Bible is evoked for performative purposes. The collection thus stresses the co-presence of biblical and contemporary concerns in the periods under discussion, conceiving of biblical drama as a central participant in the dynamic struggle to both interpret and translate the Bible.

Silvia Bigliazzi

, had a choral performance indirectly linked to the tradition of the complaint. Interestingly, this unique example coalesces the classical and medieval traditions, conflating the genre of the ancient choral weeping for the dead and the liturgical, responsorial, psalmodic lamentation, in line with the dynamic system of ‘confluence’ of different traditions Bruce Smith demonstrated with regard to the early modern reception and appropriation of classical and medieval models. 4 It is especially interesting because it

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
Cathy Shrank

Cathy Shrank’s essay considers the impact of citing scripture in fifteenth-century English morality drama. She studies its evolution from a genre that focuses on the psychomachia of the individual human soul to one that maps a struggle for the soul of the nation. Shrank explores what happens to biblical quotations – and the language in which they are cited – and how they are used to establish the ethos of characters in performance after the Reformation.

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
Abstract only
Mandeville and Mandevillian Lore in Early Modern England

It is surprising, at this point in the story of the rich and strange rediscovery of a text so important to French and English literary and social history, that no collection of scholarly essays related to Mandeville's Travels yet exists in English or French. This book is a collection of essays by scholars in England and France, who produce a complex and sometimes contradictory view of Mandeville's book as an important object of early modern attention, as well as a feature of early modern literary context. The chapters range in emphasis from textual and bibliographic studies of Mandeville's late medieval and early modern Nachleben to studies of 'Mandevillian ideologies', to readings of romances and especially theatrical productions, illuminated by understandings of the new life in print of the Travels and its excerpted account of the Levant. Part I of the book makes clear that there were profound changes in motives for publication, anthologisation and readerly reception of the text(s) from the time of the incunabula, through its use by explorers Columbus, Frobisher and Ralegh, to its appearance as a children's book in the Enlightenment. These changes underscore alterations of economies and geographical experience in the mostly post-medieval 'Age of Discovery'. Part II is on Mandevillian ideologies and examines the Nachleben of the Travels through a historical discourse on the Turks and Islam in early modern England, development and geography of scripture. Part III is on Mandevillian and focuses on the drama of the newly invented medium of the commercial theatre.


This book examines lay religious culture in Scottish towns between the Black Death and the Protestant Reformation. Part I looks at what the living did to influence the dead and at how the dead were believed to influence the living in turn. It shows that the living and the dead shared a reciprocal relationship of obligation and assistance, and that the bonds between the two groups were especially strong when they involved blood or guild kinship. Part II considers the overlapping communities in Scottish towns where people could personalize religious expression in a meaningful social context. Part III focuses on the period between 1350 and 1560 as one of disruption and development. It assesses weaknesses in the Scottish ecclesiastical structure and instances of religious dissent, and then it considers the Scottish Church’s response to these challenges. Two main arguments run through the book. The first is that most laypeople in Scottish towns continued to participate in orthodox Catholic practices right through to the mid-sixteenth century. The second major argument is that Catholic religious practices in Scottish towns underwent a significant shift between 1350 and 1560. This shift, which is most easily perceived when Scotland is considered within the broader European transition from the medieval to the early modern period, brought with it a kind of pre-Reformation reformation in religious practice.


What happens when Chaucer turns up where we don’t expect him to be? Transporting Chaucer draws on the work of the British sculptor Antony Gormley alongside more traditional literary scholarship to show that Chaucer’s play with textual history and chronological time prefigures how his poetry becomes incorporate with later (and earlier) texts. The shuttling of bodies, names, and sounds in and amongst works that Chaucer did write anticipates Chaucerian presences in later (and earlier) works that he did not. Chaucer’s characters, including ‘himself’ refuse to stay put in one place and time. This book bypasses the chronological borders of literary succession to read The Canterbury Tales and Chaucer’s Dream Vision poetry in present company with Chaucerian ‘apocrypha’, and works by Shakespeare, Davenant and Dryden. Conventional models of source and analogue study are re-energised to reveal unexpected (and sometimes unsettling) literary cohabitations and re-placements. Transporting Chaucer presents innovative readings of relationships between medieval texts and early modern drama, and between literary texts and material culture. Associations between medieval architecture, pilgrim practice, manuscript illustration, and the soundscapes of dramatic performance reposition how we read Chaucer’s oeuvre and what gets made of it. Written for scholars and students (undergraduate and graduate) who work in medieval English literary studies and early modern drama, Transporting Chaucer offers a new approach to how we encounter texts through time.

The nature and experience of reading, for the common and uncommon reader across the centuries, is an enduring subject of interest for academics, journalists, fiction writers, poets, and those straddling these definitions. This book focuses on the period c. 1400-1600 and there is a lot of surviving evidence for popular reading in English during these two centuries. It examines four kinds of literature in four case studies, which represent an important constituent part of the whole body of popular texts available for study c. 1400-1600. Other studies might examine some of the many other forms of available evidence for popular reading in medieval and early modern England. There has been much excellent work on reading in recent years. The book focuses on religious texts, moral reading, practical texts, and fictional literature. The purpose of a case study is not to cover everything about a particular subject. Aside from the idea of 'covering everything' being intellectually flawed, each of the books examined here takes the investigation in a specific direction. A theme at the heart of the book is the evidence that the material item of manuscript and printed book can provide for reading practice and experience. Page layout including the interactions of different kinds or colours of script and of picture and writing are important visual aspects of the material evidence. These are often not separable from issues of literary form and voice (poetry, prose, gloss, instruction) and of language.

Place, locality and memory

This book is a study of the history and memory of Anglo-Jewry from medieval times to the present and explores the construction of identities, both Jewish and non-Jewish, in relation to the concept of place. The introductory chapters provide a theoretical overview focusing on the nature of local studies. The book then moves into a chronological frame, starting with medieval Winchester, moving to early modern Portsmouth, and then it covers the evolution of Anglo-Jewry from emancipation to the twentieth century. Emphasis is placed on the impact on identities resulting from the complex relationship between migration (including transmigration) and the settlement of minority groups. Drawing upon a range of approaches, including history, cultural and literary studies, geography, Jewish and ethnic and racial studies, the book uses extensive sources including novels, poems, art, travel literature, autobiographical writing, official documentation, newspapers and census data.