The Dunsoete Agreement and daily life in the Welsh borderlands
overkingship in the seventh century’, Midland
History 30 (2005): 1–19; H. P. R. Finberg, ‘Mercians and Welsh’, in Lucerna –
Studies of Some Problems in the Early History of England (London, 1964): 66–82;
and Nicholas Brooks, ‘The formation of the Mercian kingdom’, in The Origins of
Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms, ed. Bassett, 159–70.
41 For overviews of postcolonial approaches to the Middle Ages, see Gabrielle M.
Spiegel, ‘Épater les médiévistes’, History and Theory 39 (2000): 243–50, MargretadeGrazia, ‘The modern divide: from either side’, Journal of Medieval and Early
temporal complexities of cultural production and subject formation. So while the methodology of this book is defined by
historicist readings of the texts with which I work, this book is also
a study of untimeliness, an investigation of cultural productions
bereft of their original context.
The line drawn between the Middle Ages and modernity carries
great cultural significance. For some critics it marks the birth of the
individual,2 for others the birth of the nation,3 for some the beginning of historical consciousness.4 As MargretadeGrazia writes,
there is an
or other of the Plantagenet kings (it matters little which) and its
gothic design may be richly decorated but is decidedly less modern
(and therefore less important) than the Monument’s Roman Doric
column. To use MargretadeGrazia’s language, Freud’s mistake
reveals ‘the exceptional force of that secular divide’ between medieval and modern that ‘determines nothing less than relevance’.3
It reveals Freud’s faith in this divide but also indicates the frequent difficulty of identifying the medieval. For medieval culture
has been so variously reused, reappropriated
For a lively re-examination of anthropomorphism, see also Lorraine
Daston and Greg Mitman (eds), Thinking with Animals: New
Perspectives on Anthropomorphism (New York: Columbia University
3 See especially Bennett, Vibrant Matter.
4 I draw upon Hodder, Entangled, pp. 4–
5. Cf. Gilles Deleuze and
Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, trans. B. Massumi (London:
5 See, for example, MargretaDeGrazia, Maureen Quilligan and
Peter Stallybrass (eds), Subject and Object in Renaissance Culture
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press