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Essays in popular romance
Editor: Nicola McDonald

This collection and the romances it investigates are crucial to our understanding of the aesthetics of medieval narrative and to the ideologies of gender and sexuality, race, religion, political formations, social class, ethics, morality and national identity with which those narratives emerge.

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Susan M. Johns

consideration of the impact of the Norman conquest he states that English historians have ‘domesticated’ the Norman conquest since Stubbs saw the Normans as a ‘masculine’ race which educated a ‘feminine’ race. 20 This of course echoes the comments of twelfth-century Anglo-Norman writers such as William of Malmesbury who saw the Norman conquest as punishment for the weakness and femininity of the debauched English race. 21 Stubbs unwittingly reinforced gendered categories of analysis when he noticed the elision between gender and ethnicity. Such categories of analysis need

in Gender, nation and conquest in the high Middle Ages
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Nationalism, racism and xenophobia
Mark Ormrod, Bart Lambert, and Jonathan Mackman

evidence discussed in chapters 8 , 9 and 10 , is whether this increasingly self-confident and inward-looking nationalism also bred forms of racial and ethnic hatred. Historians of the high and later Middle Ages in Europe have remarked the development of what R. I. Moore famously called a ‘persecuting society’: one in which a previous toleration of difference – whether race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality or disability – gave way to growing prejudice, discrimination and hostility. 2 It would be a gross mistake, of course, to suppose that people in England only

in Immigrant England, 1300–1550
Susan M. Johns

link to the past which is obliquely therefore Gerald’s own ancestry, and Gerald here stresses the ties of ancestry and lordship which framed his Anglo-Norman and Welsh connections and which were fundamental to his conception of the place of his lineage. These references bolstered the status of Gerald’s ancestors and relatives within his version of Welsh history. Mixed-race parentage therefore gave strength to Robert fitz Stephen, and of course Gerald had the same mixed heritage. The linkage made to the ancient race of Britain serves as a subtle reminder that Anglo

in Gender, nation and conquest in the high Middle Ages
Mark Ormrod, Bart Lambert, and Jonathan Mackman

fifteenth and sixteenth century turned England from a monoracial to a multiracial country, we need to recognise that there was a weak but discernible presence of minority groups right across the Middle Ages and early modern periods. The purpose of this chapter is to explore that continuum in relation particularly to a number of recognisable groups, including those defined by religion (Jews and Muslims) and those singled out by race (people from North Africa and the Middle East). We will investigate the nature and extent of the evidence for the presence of such minorities

in Immigrant England, 1300–1550
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Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo
Lindy Brady

them, on account of what seemed at the time a just defence of his own race, he now desires, as Christian, to suffer with Paul what he had, as Harold, done with Saul).15 Harold’s time in the borderlands is conceptualised as a shift in identity from Saul to Paul, from persecutor to penitent. It is only this place that allows him to make this change, reflecting the nature of the borderlands as a site of multiple identities. In the secular hagiography of his Vita, the suffering he experiences while living among the Welsh is a key part of this transition. After Harold

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England
Lindy Brady

; alter Eadfrid necessitate cogente ad Pendam regem transfugit, et ab eo postmodum, regnante Osualdo, contra fidem iurisiurandi peremtus est.3 (Edwin had reigned most gloriously over the English and the British race for seventeen years, for six of which, as we have said, he was also a soldier in the kingdom of Christ, when Cædwalla, king of the Britons, rebelled against him. He was supported by Penda, a man exceptionally gifted as a warrior, a member of the royal house of Mercia, who from that date ruled over that nation for twenty-two years with varying success. A

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England
Lifeblood of the tower house
Victoria L. McAlister

the mill was powered by a small, fast-flowing stream. This stream was obstructed by a dam to create a reservoir, or millpond. From this, a channel, or mill race, ran to the mill building itself (Rynne, 2003 ). The benefit of a race over a natural stream was that the water supply could be better managed to prevent flood damage (Lucas, 1953 ). A millpond, sometimes referred to as a stagnum , was an attractive option because it had the side effect of functioning as a fishery. The millpond was the most popular way of powering water mills in

in The Irish tower house
Susan M. Johns

– so stirring a record of so stubborn a race, such a good, grim fighting race – without feeling that it is good to be a Cymro. And once he feels that he will go on to feel that it is good to be a Briton too.’ The intention of the text was that ‘No Welsh boy need ever again go to the history of other peoples for a record of stirring deeds and struggles.’ 3 The book offers a simplified history of Wales from prehistory to the late medieval period. It presents the chronology through a biographical approach which is framed around a belief in the heroic and just

in Gender, nation and conquest in the high Middle Ages
Unreadable things in Beowulf
James Paz

Cain and linked to a race of giants but is still in the likeness of a woman (idese onlicnes) and dwells in a roofed hall (hrofsele). Well known, also, are the critical debates about who or what Grendel’s mother is:  from Klaeber’s glossing of aglæcwif and its influence on later translators to arguments that she is a warrior woman or a valkyrie figure.2 Since 35 Unreadable things in Beowulf 35 Grendel’s mother ultimately eludes efforts to name and identify her, it is significant that, unlike her son who randomly grabs thirty men, young and old, in his raids, her

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture