Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 515 items for :

  • "materiality" x
  • Manchester Medieval Studies x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Open Access (free)
John Lydgate’s ‘Soteltes for the coronation banquet of Henry VI’
Heather Blatt

3 Reading materially: John Lydgate’s ‘Soteltes for the coronation banquet of Henry VI’ Allone as I went vp and doun, I ane abbay wes fair to se, Thinkand quhat consolatioun Wes best in to aduersitie, On cais I kest on syd myne e And saw this writtin vpoun a wall: ‘Off quhat estait, man, that thow be, Obey and thank thi God off all’. Robert Henryson, ‘Abbey Walk’1 Like other texts addressed in these chapters, the short lyric poem ‘Abbey Walk’, by the late fifteenth-century Scots poet Robert Henryson, engages the work of reading in ways that facilitate and even

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
Pirkko A. Koppinen

Fire ‘is a rapid chemical oxidative reaction that generates heat, light and produces a range of chemical products’. 1 Since early hominins harnessed fire at least 500,000 years ago and ‘learned to maintain and control ignition’, fire has had a profound material effect on human beings, 2 including those living in early medieval England, who depended on fire as a technology for heating, cooking, lighting, and manufacturing. 3 This chapter focuses on references to fire in the clues of the duplicate texts of Legbysig and Ligbysig (R.30a and b), and is

in Riddles at work in the early medieval tradition
Author: James Paz

Anglo-Saxon ‘things’ could talk. Nonhuman voices leap out from the Exeter Book Riddles, telling us how they were made or how they behave. In The Husband’s Message, runic letters are borne and a first-person speech is delivered by some kind of wooden artefact. Readers of The Dream of the Rood will come across a tree possessing the voice of a dreaming human in order to talk about its own history as a gallows and a rood. The Franks Casket is a box of bone that alludes to its former fate as a whale that swam aground onto the shingle, and the Ruthwell monument is a stone column that speaks as if it were living wood, or a wounded body.

This book uncovers the voice and agency that these nonhuman things have across Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture. It makes a new contribution to ‘thing theory’ and rethinks conventional divisions between animate human subjects and inanimate nonhuman objects in the early Middle Ages. Anglo-Saxon writers and craftsmen describe artefacts and animals through riddling forms or enigmatic language, balancing an attempt to speak and listen to things with an understanding that these nonhumans often elude, defy and withdraw from us. The active role that things have in the early medieval world is also linked to the Germanic origins of the word, where a þing is a kind of assembly, with the ability to draw together other elements, creating assemblages in which human and nonhuman forces combine. Anglo-Saxon things teach us to rethink the concept of voice as a quality that is not simply imposed upon nonhumans but which inheres in their ways of existing and being in the world; they teach us to rethink the concept of agency as arising from within groupings of diverse elements, rather than always emerging from human actors alone.

Michelle M. Sauer

7 The function of material and spiritual roads in the English eremitic tradition Michelle M. Sauer Religious vocations in the Middle Ages took a wide variety of forms, from the traditional careers of cloistered monks and nuns to more unconventional choices, such as being a hermit or anchorite. While all shared the goal of becoming closer to God spiritually, the ethos and practices of each were different. Monks and nuns took formal vows, identified with an order and lived communally within established houses following established rules. Hermits and anchorites

in Roadworks
Spolia in Old English verse

Borrowed objects and the art of poetry examines seven Exeter riddles, three Anglo-Saxon biblical poems (Exodus, Andreas, Judith), and Beowulf to uncover the poetics of spolia, an imaginative use of fictional recycled artefacts to create sites of metatextual reflection. Old English poetry famously – and for a corpus rather interested in the enigmatic and the oblique, appropriately – lacks an explicit ars poetica. This book argues that attention to particularly charged moments within texts – especially within texts concerned with translation, transformation, and the layering of various pasts – gives us a previously unrecognised means for theorising Anglo-Saxon poetic creativity. Borrowed objects and the art of poetry works at the intersections of recent interest in materiality and poetics, balancing insights of thing theory, and related approaches with close readings of specific passages from Old English texts.

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

important woman, as well as providing clues about the material culture of an aristocratic secular woman. It also illustrates the range of cultural influences in northern France, and significantly Baudri emphasised the role of Adela in the design and creation of tapestries.27 Firstly, he described a role which women of Adela’s status undertook, that is, to oversee and direct the women who made cloth and designed tapestry, and, secondly, he flattered her artistic skills. Baudri’s relationship with Adela was not unique: he wrote poetry and obituaries for other women

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

evidence of women’s private initiative and policies. Examination here of charter evidence showed that the public roles, policies and initiatives of noblewomen were defined by their marital status and the female life cycle. The interplay of these factors and the role of social status were vital components in the definition of noblewomen’s roles within the family and also society more generally. The interpretative challenge posed by charters is intrinsically a problem of the nature of the source material, since their purpose was to record land transactions, and this

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

(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), p. 157 n. Service in a countess’s household could be one way in which working women earned a living and found a marriage partner. 54 EYC, 1. no. 295. 55 The Registrum Antiquissimum of the Cathedral Church of Lincoln: Volume I, ed. C. W. Foster (Lincoln Record Society, 27, 1931), pp. 293–5. This is a fascinating insight into the material culture of a woman at the turn of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, and compares with the bequests made by Queen Joan of Sicily, the daughter of King John, in 1199, when she made a

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

of the source material itself, but examples of other powerful countesses who acted in similar roles to those of the countesses of Chester do show useful patterns in the way that women of comital rank exerted power throughout the female life cycle. C 53 noblewomen and power The Chester evidence The earls of Chester were among the greatest nobles of the Norman and Angevin realms, the high political élite of twelfth-century society. Their power was rooted in extensive land holdings in Cheshire and beyond, which by 1086 consisted of land scattered throughout

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm