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discussion of medieval popular literature, Rosemary Woolf justly described this as ‘a crude piece of work compared with the French and German analogues’.5 Much the same could be (and has been) said for other Middle English romances based on French originals (King Horn, Sir Tristrem, for example), for comparisons tend MUP_McDonald_09_Ch8 172 11/18/03, 17:05 Sir Percyvell of Gales 173 to show that the French romances are subtler and more sophisticated. Fortunately, it is not always conscious artistry that attracts us in literature, and the most obvious way of

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Alcuin Blamires

2 The twin demons of aristocratic society in Sir Gowther Alcuin Blamires Sir Gowther is a 700-line narrative probably originating (in its Middle English form) about 1400 in the North Midlands. It is extant in two mildly divergent manuscript texts, which will here be referred to as the ‘Advocates’ and ‘Royal’ versions.1 Sir Gowther is conspicuous for that surface crankiness and drastic speed which are often found in medieval English verse romances and which readily provoke a modern reader’s suspicion that no very challenging contact with medieval society is being

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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Jill Fitzgerald

. Notes 1 That tradition persisted in Middle English literature. Examples are inventoried by James Morey, Book and Verse: A Guide to Middle English Biblical Literature (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2000), see “Angel(s), fall of”, p. 396. 2 Carmen de uirginitate , pp. 316–17; trans. Lapidge and Rosier, Aldhelm: The Poetic Works , p. 163. 3 Ibid., p. 457; trans. Lapidge and Rosier, p. 67. 4 Ancrene Wisse: A Corrected Edition of the Text in

in Rebel angels
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Immigrant England
Mark Ormrod, Bart Lambert and Jonathan Mackman

fourteenth century, Middle English usage. 28 In formal terms, an alien was understood as someone who owed no direct allegiance to the sovereign power, the king, and was thus separated off from his direct subjects. It is important to note, however, that ‘alien’ was just as applicable to visitors as it was to permanent settlers: in general, the law of alienage that emerged from the thirteenth century made no formal distinction between such sub-categories. 29 Consequently, while all immigrants were aliens, not all aliens were immigrants. The terms

in Immigrant England, 1300–1550
Palm Sunday processions
Eyal Poleg

-creating the Gospel narrative. Palm Sunday was widely depicted on church walls and lavish manuscripts; its texts reverberated in Middle English literature; and its performance was re-created in civic processions. What makes the day even more significant for the study of biblical mediation is the fact that this memorable biblical story does not lend itself easily to liturgical re-enactment. Liturgical processions were made to emulate Christ’s reception at the outskirts of Second-Temple Jerusalem in the towns and villages of medieval Europe. Transforming the biblical event

in Approaching the Bible in medieval England
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Chaucer and romance in the manuscript tradition
Gareth Griffith

violence, anti-clericalism, games of incompleteness and imitation, and women suffering from male desire. In short, in significant respects, he became more Spenserian. Defining romance In recent decades, scholarly work on the popular romance in Middle English has been plentiful and rich, alongside continued interest in the more ‘courtly’ works associated with major canonical authors. 6 This scholarship has frequently found it necessary to establish a way or ways by which the category of romance could be

in Rereading Chaucer and Spenser
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Reading, space and intimacy in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde
Andrew James Johnston

meant to be the Roman de Thèbes – in fact, there is not a single piece of textual evidence to support this claim. One of the most important arguments in favour of the traditional reading is based on the semantics of the Middle English romaunce , usually interpreted as ‘courtly romance’ in the context of Troilus and Criseyde. 8 This, however, is a term with an

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
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Three Advent Sunday sermons
Eyal Poleg

journey of the faithful serves as a coda to the sermon. Copies of this sermon were extant in libraries both in England and the Continent; its dissemination and popularity are attested by a late fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century rendering. Written in Middle English, possibly by an adherent of Wyclif, this version engages in dialogue with Odo’s sermon through its choice of themes and words while serving as a rare witness to the afterlife of the Latin sermon. The second sermon dates to the late thirteenth century, and its sole copy exists in an early fourteenth

in Approaching the Bible in medieval England
Stephanie Downes

pallor is almost always a marker of some essential absence or lack, whether of colour, feeling, reason, health, vitality or any combination of these; its exceptionality is further compounded by this sense of deviation from a facial ‘norm’. Rarely, if ever, do we encounter a crowd of pale faces in Middle English literature. It is perhaps precisely because of the atypicality of the pale face that it insists on being interpreted and understood. Such faces come to represent and to induce a variety of affects and emotions in (and around) the texts in which they appear. In

in Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries
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E.A. Jones

witness. The first of the ‘Middle English Mystics’, Richard Rolle, was likewise sought out as a spiritual director, and after his death was revered as a saint. Much of his writing touches (sometimes quite defensively) on his life as a hermit: his improvised entry into the vocation is [ 47 ] (and see [ 21 ] for an excerpt from his writings). And Walter Hilton (whose advice to recluses lies behind [ 25 ]) spent time as a solitary himself

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550