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Thirteenth-century exempla from the British Isles

Exempla, the stories with which preachers enlivened their sermons and impressed salutary moral lessons on their hearers, have long been appreciated as a source of key importance for medieval history. They played an important part in popular preaching and yet, for all the work being published on preaching and on the mendicant orders more generally, little of the abundant primary material is available in English translation. This book presents translation material from two collections of exempla assembled in the British Isles in the last quarter of the thirteenth century. One, the Liber Exemplorum (LE), was compiled by an English Franciscan working in Ireland. The other, probably the work of an English Dominican based in Cambridge (DC), is represented by fifty-two stories, about one-sixth of the total. These two collections are important because they are among the earliest to survive from the British Isles. Their short, pithy narratives are not limited to matters of Church doctrine and practice, but touch on a wide range of more mundane matters and provide vivid snapshots of medieval life in the broadest sense. The first part of the collection is chiefly devoted to Christ and the Virgin, the Mass and the saving power of the Cross. The second part has exempla on a wide variety of doctrinal, moral and other topics. These include the vices, the virtues, the sacraments and church practice, and the sins and other failings thought to beset particular professions or groups.

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David Jones

This introduction discusses the place of preaching in the medieval church, the development of preaching aids and the exemplum genre. It provides an overview of the the main topics covered by the exempla, the dating of the two collections translated and the use which the compilers made of their material, and how far exempla can be relied upon as historical evidence.

in Friars’ Tales
David Jones

This chapter contains the translated and annotated text of the Liber Exemplorum.

in Friars’ Tales
David Jones

This chapter contains the translated and annotated text of selected exempla from the Cambridge Dominican Collection.

in Friars’ Tales
Revisiting Graziers, Land Reform and Political Conflict in Ireland
David Jones

Graziers, Land Reform and Political Conflict in Ireland provides an analysis of large grazing farmers (commonly called graziers or ranchers) in nineteenth and early twentieth century Ireland. The book examines their origins, characteristics, and important but controversial role in Irish society, which led to conflict with the surrounding peasantry (what may be termed the ranching question). The first part of the chapter considers the themes of the book, the sources used and the influences in writing it. It also draws points of comparison with two other scholarly works which focused on the graziers. The second part considers what additional themes and perspectives would be adopted if the study was to be done again.

in Land questions in modern Ireland
David Ceri Jones

This article seeks to re-examine the arguments among early nineteenth-century Welsh Calvinistic Methodists about Calvinist beliefs. In particular, it uses the example of John Elias to explore the appropriation and re-appropriation of aspects of the theological heritage of the sixteenth-century Reformation in Wales. Examining the tensions between Calvinism‘s tendency to ever stricter interpretation and pressure in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to liberalize Calvinistic Methodisms position under the influence of evangelicalism, it argues that Elias emerged as a defender of the moderate Calvinism that had been forged by Howel Harris and Daniel Rowland in the previous century.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Open Access (free)
James Baldwin and the "Closeted-ness" of American Power
David Jones

This article reads the work of James Baldwin in dialogue with that of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Taking its cue from Baldwin’s claim that Americans “live […] with something in [their] closet” that they “pretend […] is not there,” it explores his depiction of a United States characterized by the “closeted-ness” of its racial discourse. In doing so, the article draws on Sedgwick’s work concerning how the containment of discourses pertaining to sexuality hinges on the closeting of non-heteronormative sexual practices. Reconceptualizing Sedgwick’s ideas in the context of a black, queer writer like Baldwin, however, problematizes her own insistence on the “historical gay specificity” of the epistemology she traces. To this end, this article does not simply posit a racial counterpart to the homosexual closet. Rather, reflecting Baldwin’s insistence that “the sexual question and the racial question have always been entwined,” I highlight here the interpretive possibilities opened up by intersectional analyses that view race, sexuality, and national identity as coextensive, reciprocal epistemologies.  

James Baldwin Review
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A guide to dark visibilities

Gothic as a genre has become more amorphous and difficult to contain. This book brings together for the first time many of the multifarious visual motifs and media associated with Gothic together with areas that have never received serious study or mention in this regard before. It draws attention to an array of dark artefacts such as Goth and Gothic jewellery, dolls, posters and food, which, though part of popular mass marketing, have often been marginalised and largely omitted from the mainstream of Gothic Studies publishing. The book moves from the earliest Gothic architecture to décor and visual aspects of theatrical design, masquerade and dance. It focuses on paintings in two historical spans from Jan Van Eyck to Henry Fuseli and from Goya to H. R. Giger to consider Clovis Trouille's works influenced by horror films and Vincent Castiglia's paintings in blood. Gothic engravings, motifs of spectral portraits, posters and signs are covered. The book then uses early visual devices like Eidophusikon and the long-lived entertainment of peepshows to introduce a discussion of projection technologies like magic lanterns and, subsequently, film and TV. Gothic photography from Daguerreotypes onwards; and Gothic font, scripts and calligraphy are then discussed. Finally, the book presents a survey of the development of newer Gothic media, such as video gaming, virtual reality (VR) games and survival horror apps.

Trauma, face and figure in Samuel Beckett
David Houston Jones

Building on his detailed discussion of the impossibility of speech in Beckett’s work in relation to Agamben’s account of testimony in his book Samuel Beckett and Testimony, David Houston Jones turns in this chapter to the question of the face, which Agamben himself left undeveloped after his article ‘The Face’. Jones considers the face as a vector of the expressive capabilities of testimony. He discusses a range of dramatic and narrative situations in which the expressive capabilities of the face are pitted against the epistemological problem of testimony, from the deterritorialised face of Not I to the inexpressive face in Wattand the later prose. This analysis of the face in Beckett constitutes a unique critique of Agamben’s idea of testimony and contributes to a rethinking of trauma theory with reference to the realm of the visual.

in Samuel Beckett and trauma