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when we set Sir Gawain beside Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess, a poem with its own peculiar connection to Fortune, and one with which Sir Gawain shares a number of formal and thematic ambitions, despite their differences in region, dialect and genre. 110 Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries A number of secular fictions in the later Middle English period incorporate both representations of hunting and stories of aristocratic loss. Some are of course explicitly allegorical and hortatory, like the esoteric hunting-as-confession allegory in Henry of Lancaster

in Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries
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reputations. This account opens the prologue to Sir Geoffrey de la Tour Landry's book of advice for his daughters, now known as the Le livre du Chevalier de la Tour Landry pour l’enseignement de ses filles (1371–72) or, in its Middle English form, The Book of the Knight of La Tour Landry . As Geoffrey's prologue makes clear, his aim is to teach his daughters how to grow up into good and honourable women. He declares himself to be speaking to ‘none other women but to myn propre doughtres and seruantis of myn howse’ (‘à mes propres filles et à mes

in Practising shame
The lump-child and its parents in The King of Tars

5 Putting the pulp into fiction: the lump-child and its parents in The King of Tars Jane Gilbert The central figure of the Middle English popular romance known as The King of Tars (hereafter KT) – a formless lump of flesh born instead of a child – defines a certain view of popular literature. The birth is an outrageously sensationalist event; the ideological message conveyed by its subsequent transformation into a human being through baptism is simplistic, vulgar and racist. By its unfinished aspect, moreover, the formless lump parallels the work’s rudimentary

in Pulp fictions of medieval England

7 The Siege of Jerusalem and recuperative readings Elisa Narin van Court Dismissed for years from serious critical attention, the fourteenthcentury alliterative narrative The Siege of Jerusalem1 has recently begun to generate the kind of interest associated with more canonical Middle English works. Scholarly studies have emerged to fill the lacunae of response and readings, and a new edition is forthcoming.2 In this essay I will argue that this new attention to Jerusalem is well deserved and long overdue, inhibited more by scholarly distaste for the poem

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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particular type of literature, the Middle English romances, texts which became witnesses of a ‘new “bourgeois-gentry” cultural formation’. 2 Literature, here defined in an all-inclusive way, rather than material for entertainment purposes, is traditionally assessed in relation to authorship, authorial intention, audience and socio-political context, and thus an investigation into the influence of

in Gentry culture in late-medieval England

201 9 Macrocosm and microcosm in household manuscript Cambridge, University Library MS Ff.2.38 Raluca Radulescu Cambridge, University Library MS Ff.2.38 (c. 1470–​1490) is best known as one of four major Middle English medieval romance manuscripts; the other three are the earlier Auchinleck Manuscript (Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates MS 19.2.1; 1330s), the Lincoln Thornton Manuscript (Lincoln, Cathedral MS 91; 1440s), and London, British Library MS Cotton Caligula A.  ii (mid to late fifteenth century).1 Between them these four manuscripts

in Household knowledges in late-medieval England and France
Gawain in a Middle English miscellany

5 Fictional literature: Gawain in a Middle English miscellany  1 Popular reading in English c. 1400–1600 Fictional literature: Gawain The purpose of this chapter is to examine the nature of some popular fictional literature with the intention of understanding more about reading experience. There is a lot of popular fiction to choose from.2 In order to provide a focus for the chapter, I am taking the set of surviving stories centred on one of the knights of King Arthur’s round table: Gawain. I use the surviving Gawain stories to address a set of issues

in Popular reading in English c. 1400–1600
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Healing, reading, and perfection in the late-medieval household

household in a Middle English translation of Arderne’s Practica; it goes on to chart how this work relates to two texts, John of Bordeaux’s Governayle of Health, on self-​governance, and Henry Daniel’s Treatise on Rosemary, outlining different uses of the herb rosemary, both texts being bound 180 180 Michael Leahy with a Latin version of the Practica in one household miscellany, London British Library MS Additional 29301.9 I claim that all of these practical writings would have encouraged their late-​medieval readers to imagine the household as an environment typified

in Household knowledges in late-medieval England and France

If good habits can be learned, can they not also be counterfeited? This is precisely the quandary articulated by the Middle English saying that claimed ‘[a]bit ne makith neither monk ne frere’ – or, as the proverb ran in medieval Latin, ‘habitus non facit monachum’. After all, appearances can be deceiving: a person's appearance and behaviour are no guarantee of his or her inner virtue. Even external signs like religious habits were ultimately unreliable signifiers of virtue and discipline – some who wore the habits were ‘wolves in sheeps

in Practising shame

individual’s death. In this process, the body becomes a locus of narrative, social and cultural memory and generative of embodied and experiential knowledge. This insistence refocuses our apprehension of time to emphasise duration rather than period and to explore, as I have in the previous chapters of this book, the possibility of affective connection across time. My exploration of the vitality and temporality of the body in medieval effigies and Price’s film is qualified and developed through analysis of the Middle English poem St Erkenwald, an example of the kind of

in Visions and ruins