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The parables of the Wedding Feast and Great Supper
Mary Raschko

Paradox formed into story 177 5 Paradox formed into story: the parables of the Wedding Feast and Great Supper Thus comparisunez Kryst þe kyndom of heuen To þis frelych feste þat fele arn to called; For alle arn laþed luflyly, þe luþer and þe better, Þat euer wern fulȝed in font, þat fest to haue. (Cleanness, 161–4)1 This final chapter returns to the parable of the Wedding Feast (Matt 22:1–14), a story fraught with contradictions, both within the narrative itself and in its relation to other Gospel stories. The Wedding Feast is a paradigmatic parable: it is

in The politics of Middle English parables

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.

The Rotuli de Dominabus et Pueris et Puellis de XII Comitatibus of 1185
Susan M. Johns

, women in the Rotuli are identified by their sons or husbands, but this is inevitable, given the nature of the record, and just as significant are the few examples where other references, usually related to the nature of their land tenure, form the basis of naming. In the Rotuli de Dominabus high-status women, of comital rank, were identified only through the title comitissa. They are the countess of Richmond, Margaret de Bohun, the widow of Humphrey de Bohun; Matilda countess of Chester; Bertrada countess of Chester, her daughterin-law; Eva countess of Leinster, widow

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

, on the seals of male nobility the equestrian figure was the most enduring and dominant form of iconography which symbolised ‘feudal lordship’,4 it is difficult to relate this to changes in ‘feudal lordship’ because such studies float free from the debates about changes in the nature of lordship or society, or any consideration of portrayals and meanings of masculinity.5 Similarly, for noblewomen, it is known that iconographic devices were used on their seals, such as the fleur-de-lys, or the ambivalent bird of prey image,6 yet why and how these symbols emerged is

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

different meanings which might be invisible and varied, a phenomenon inherent in the medieval conceptual framework of the universe in the West. In the words of St Hugh of Victor, ‘A symbol is a collecting of visible forms for the demonstration of invisible things’.6 Meanings could be varied, since the symbols used, such as birds of prey and the fleur-de-lis, were ambiguous and invisible, since women’s place in the lineage was imaged but was an invisible link with the past. Further, women’s seals were discussed within the social and political context of their use and

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

poetic fields.2 Elisabeth van Houts confirmed the importance of female patrons of historiography, and their role as repositories of family history and in the instruction of their sons, and more importantly their central role in the creation of social memory.3 Susan Groag Bell traced a tradition whereby medieval noblewomen were important as cultural ambassadors and in the literary education of their daughters.4 The importance of female patronage in providing distinctive, innovative forms of literature is an important element in Lois Huneycutt’s reassessment of the

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Susan M. Johns

countergifts and affidation 6 Countergifts and affidation Countergifts he exchange of material and spiritual countergifts was a method of ensuring the security of the land transfers which charters record. Historians view their significance in differing ways. Emily Tabuteau’s pragmatic interpretation argues that contemporary society received both juridical and spiritual benefits through gift exchange and that material countergifts given to relatives of a donor represented a form of compensation for loss of land.1 According to John Hudson, countergifts re

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

the complex cultural and political processes which affected how they were produced. Jan Hendrik Prell argues against a crisis in documentary forms and that the legal status of witnesses declined in importance so 83 noblewomen and power that their function changed from a juridical corroborative role: they became ‘témoins instrumentaires’.23 The key problem with this debate, although it is subtle and sophisticated, is that it is ultimately a sterile postmodern argument about male power and action which fiercely contests the difficulties of reading social realities

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

half-way through from standard writ form to an epistolary and an almost emotional appeal. Lucy as mother begs her sons to honour her gift: she stresses that the maintenance of the gift would benefit them all when they were before God. Lucy was able to further her own aims more effectively during her widowhood, exercising greater control of her lands. Like any magnate Lucy attempted to ensure the security of her gift after her death. Thus there is a continuity in her role in religious patronage. As a wife she had used her influence at both the royal court and that of

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Abstract only
Roads and writing
Valerie Allen
and
Ruth Evans

potentially suggestive ways of thinking about the material (geographical, political, technological) nature of medieval roads as forms of inscription on the landscape. This is not to say that we believe the reality of roads can only be apprehended in terms of a Wittgensteinian ‘language-game’ (the linguistic conditions that make it possible to make well-formulated statements about an object of study). Nor do we think that the reality of the medieval road can be reduced to, or made analogous to, a question about how key thinkers figure the metaphor of the track, trace or path

in Roadworks