characterises the Middle English
romances he edits as ‘pedestrian’ and ‘naïve’, ‘grop[ing]’ narratives that read
‘much better the first time around than … on the second or third’; at best
‘one is hard put to say much against [them]’, at worst, they exhibit ‘the
wrong-headed logic often attributed to children’ (pp. 2, 5, 130, 350, 233).
Derek Pearsall and I. C. Cunningham (eds), The Auchinleck Manuscript
(London, 1977), p. ix; Dorothy Everett, Essays on MiddleEnglishLiterature
; the real danger
here is not that the Emperor plots against him, but that the Emperor
has no control over his ranks, rendering him ineffective against
Guy of Warwick
internal as well as external threats. The Emperor’s crime is incompetence rather than malevolence.
Though Christian knights fighting with Saracens against other
Christians is not unheard of in medieval history, it is uncommon in
MiddleEnglishliterature; in Guy’s case, I would argue, Guy’s near
defection implies that the hero has been lured off course
’, in Maldwyn Mills,
Suzanne Conklin Akbari
Jennifer Fellows, and Carol M. Meale (eds), Romance in Medieval England
(Cambridge, 1991), pp. 113–31; quotations from pp. 114, 116). See also
Diana T. Childress, ‘Between romance and legend: “secular hagiography” in MiddleEnglishliterature’, Philological Quarterly, 57 (1978),
311–22, esp. p. 316.
Childress, ‘Between romance and legend’, p. 319.
Ibid., p. 320.
Andrea Hopkins, The Sinful Knights: A Study of Middle English Penitential
craft in Middle English, see Nicola Masciandaro, The voice of the hammer: the meaning of work in MiddleEnglishliterature (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007).
See further Maren Clegg Hyer and Gale R. Owen-Crocker, ‘Woven works: making and using textiles’, in Maren Clegg Hyer and Gale R. Owen-Crocker (eds), The material culture of daily living in the Anglo-Saxon world (Exeter: University of Exeter Press
English medieval romances’, in her Essays on MiddleEnglishLiterature, ed. Patricia Kean (Oxford, 1955), pp. 1–22 (p. 12).
The term is taken from Gérard Genette’s classic study of time in Narrative
Discourse, trans. Jane E. Lewin (Oxford, 1980).
Roland Barthes, S/Z, trans. Richard Miller (Oxford, 1996), p. 19.
The distinction is usually attributed to Boris Tomashevski, ‘Thematics’
(1925), in Lee T. Lemon and Marion J. Reis (eds), Russian Formalist
Criticism: Four Essays (Lexington, 1965), pp. 61–98.
On the memorial transmission of popular romances see especially Murray