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The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building, idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English texts.

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Bruce Woodcock

councillors, blue, by taking some of the Eupholon pills. Vincent realises that Solly had known of his complicity in their predicament all along and, moreover, that the revolutionaries ‘are fucking delighted’ that he sent the pills (158). But there is a catch: in order to get the pills and join the collective blueness, Vincent must get past the crack-shot guard he himself had posted outside the warehouse: he faces his own invention, in a test which has echoes of classical fables such as Theseus facing the Minotaur in the labyrinth. This explores the

in Peter Carey
Fur, hair and subversive female lycanthropy
Jazmina Cininas

period pain, only to have this explanation repeatedly superseded by a series of ‘true’ purposes for the pill. Almost halfway through the novel, Micah confesses: I’m a werewolf. There, I’ve said it. The heart of all my lies. Of the family’s lies. You guessed it already, didn’t you? What with the fur I was born in

in She-wolf
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Victoria Coldham-Fussell

sugar the pill of his moral discourse with an engaging ‘historicall fiction’ (LR, line 9), thereby making ‘good discipline’ (line 22) more palatable and accessible to the average reader. Yet to ‘clowdily enwrap’ bare ‘precepts’ with outward ‘showes’ (lines 22–4) is also wilfully to complicate the reader’s task. We need to be alert to sophisticated allegory masquerading as the kind of naïve allegory that (like Prudentius’s Psychomachia ) renders abstractions tangible and distinguishes absolutely between good and evil. Relevant here is what I have described as the

in Comic Spenser
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Darkness and suicide in the work of Patricia Highsmith
Fiona Peters

protagonist Walter Stackhouse’s wife Clara in an unsympathetic and cold manner. This character is viewed as neurotic and unstable and is in part based on Ellen Hill, Highsmith’s own lover. She describes Clara’s drug-induced coma in a manner close to her own experience with Hill: Walter could not escape the fact that he had known that she was going to take the pills. He could tell himself that he hadn’t really thought she would take them, because she hadn’t the other time, but this time had been different and he knew it

in Suicide and the Gothic
Theorising practice in Thomas Heywood’s Ages plays
Chloe Kathleen Preedy

: Oh these [those] were times Fit for you bards to vent your golden rymes. Then did I tread on arras, cloth of tissue, Hung round the fore-front of my stage: the pillers That did support the roofe of my large frame Double apparreld in pure ophir gold: Whilst the round circle of my spacious orbe Was throng’d with princes, dukes and senators. 2 In this passage, Heywood introduces several key concepts that recur in his prose defence: the involvement of noble and powerful figures, known for their political and military achievements, with the

in Thomas Heywood and the classical tradition
Spenser, Sidney, and the early modern chivalric code
Jean R. Brink

would be too much for human wit, but Spenser, W.L. tells us, is ‘excus'd sith Sidney thought it fitt’. Sidney is here credited with inspiring Spenser to celebrate Elizabeth in the Faerie Queene. Spenser himself also describes Sidney as his inspiration for the epic in a dedicatory sonnet appended to the Faerie Queene (1590). He acknowledges Lord Grey as ‘the pillor of my life, / And Patrone of my

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Greg Wells

horse-pack. Its fifteen small drawers would be ample for the pills and medication he would have needed. Hall would have travelled with a few of his medical textbooks as well to help him with diagnoses and cures. ℞: senna leaves 1oz, agaric 3dr, rhubarb 2dr, cinnamon 1½oz. Infuse according to practice in 3 pints white wine for twelve hours. Then strain six or seven times through a woollen bag and sweeten with ½lb [p. 2] of good sugar in the form of nectar . 6 Dose: 5oz twice a day, on an empty stomach in the morning and about four o’clock in the

in John Hall, Master of Physicke
G. W. M. Reynolds and The Mysteries of London
Rob Breton

, absorbing the radical and romantic elements of his culture.’ 5 Though in some sense the novel’s politics conform to the conventions of the genres it employs, genre never hems the politics in. Genre theorists, as Kerri Andrews summarises, ‘argue that some degree of modification, some degree of evolution, is both inevitable and inherent within systems of genre’. 6 Beside the outrageously romantic, gothic, and melodramatic is explicit political content. The ‘penny blood’ material does not simply make the politics ‘more attractive’, as Ernest Jones has it, 7 making the

in The penny politics of Victorian popular fiction
Colonialism, Jewishness and politics in Bacon’s New Atlantis
Claire Jowitt

malcontent from faithful subject. This essay has attempted to show the practical and ideological difficulties of ‘speak[ing] plain’ that Bacon encountered in the New Atlantis. We have identified the covert criticism Bacon levelled at James I. Indeed, the fact that Bacon’s dissatisfaction was articulated obliquely should come as no surprise since for a counsellor not to make his advice palatable by sugaring the pill was political, often literal, suicide. Given the uncertainty of the patronage system and the powerlessness, or worse, of those that failed to please their

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis