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Francisco Alonso-Almeida

confidence in the validity of the recipe. Probatum est was widely used in the Middle English period (1100–1500) and in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its use in this later period is, however, much less frequent, likely a symptom of increased literacy and a decline in folklore knowledge, as can be deduced from Henry Bracken’s words, in an eighteenth-century text on

in Reading and writing recipe books, 1550–1800
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In search of pre-Reformation English spirituality
R. N. Swanson

Dying . Each offers a different approach to the lay experience, seeking to provide a means whereby spirituality could be encouraged and hope confirmed, without going to extremes. The lack of extremism is important: it is too easy to place too much emphasis on the ‘Middle English mystics’, and judge others by their yardstick. 58 Yet mysticism almost by definition is a rarity: the majority had to live

in Catholic England
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Chanita Goodblatt and Eva von Contzen

-dominated Church hierarchy. For his part, Jonathan Stavsky analyses the representation of Jewish–Christian relations in the N-Town ‘Trial of Mary and Joseph’. He situates this play within a wide intertextual context, including the Apocryphal source and its Middle English retellings. Considered in this way, Stavsky proposes that the play offers a nuanced vision of Christianity's roots, as it translates salvation history to fifteenth-century East Anglia in order to forge a just community capable of resisting scandalmongers. In the final chapter of this part, Eva von Contzen

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
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Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

water and the lond also’ (7.369–74).1 As its French and Latin etymology suggests, envirounen means surround, encircle, fill, attend, enclose, beset. Air is matter, action, place and mood. It is turbulent, mixing land and sea and human emotion into storm and tempest. Thunder, lightning and gale find their forceful habitat in the air. So do birds, insects and angels, filling the element with song. That cheerfulness can infect life, so that air raises emotive states and refreshes. The Middle English phrase ‘to take the eire’ means to stroll outdoors and allow the element

in Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries
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Popular mercy in a vengeance culture
Philippa Byrne

scheme see B. E. Whalen, Dominion of God: Christendom and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 2009), esp. 1–8 and 72–124. 16 For example, Peter Comestor’s sermon, De adventu domini , PL.198.1736–7; a similar anonymous twelfth-century sermon is found in BL, Royal MS 6 A XIII, fos 173r–174r. For the later history of the legend in English, K. Sajavaara, The Middle English Translations of Robert Grosseteste’s Chateau d’Amour (Helsinki, 1967). 17 Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, Parker Library, CCCC MS 481, fos

in Justice and mercy
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Eyal Poleg

biblical studies and dissemination, where innovations in the layout of biblical manuscripts and new forms of preaching were practised. The Anglo-Saxon past was evident in Gospel books used in monasteries and cathedrals, as in the ancient stone crosses towering over churchyards. Common law treatises and Middle English literature convey unique insular traditions with a distinct iconography. The English example, however, was never detached from the wider European setting. The biographies of Stephen Langton (d. 1228) or the preacher Odo of Cheriton (d. 1246) tell of lives

in Approaching the Bible in medieval England
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Roads and writing
Valerie Allen and Ruth Evans

street is situated within a dwelling area (OED road [n.] III.4a). A  secondary assumption underlying the nomenclature is that the street will be paved and the road not.10 The conceptual distinction is upheld to some degree in late medieval England, but never systematically marked in language, at least until the early modern era, not least because, as already noted, the word ‘road’, understood as a path or way for land traffic, rarely if ever appears in Middle English. Other words must serve. ‘Way’ (Middle English Dictionary (MED) wei [n.1]) has an approximate

in Roadworks
Nicola McDonald

’ on hard-won land.9 Structured as opposites, edible and inedible, literal and metaphoric are rather points on a continuum. The Christian fantasy of Muslim genocide – the total decimation of land and people imagined in a Middle English romance as an act of ingestion (‘πou … destroyyst hys [the Sultan’s] countrays, / Slees hys men, and eetes among’)10 – is, if we are being honest, pretty much coincident with the diner’s ingestion of a pie not only imagined as, but made out to look like, a Turk. Both invoke eating people as a trope to make real (imaginatively and

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Megan Cook

interpretive aids and without extensive commentary on the difficulty of their language. Indeed, although readers might comment on the increasingly obvious antiquity of these works, the first printed glossary to a Middle English text did not appear until 1561. 8 Middle English texts were still serving as the basis for adaptations like Pericles and Two Noble Kinsmen at the turn of the seventeenth century, and notes in surviving copies of Middle English texts suggest that these books were read and understood by a wide array of

in Rereading Chaucer and Spenser
Le Bone Florence of Rome and bourgeois self-making
Felicity Riddy

of the three manuscripts in which it survives were copied by English scribes.17 On the face of it, this looks like an example of what I am arguing against: the idea that Middle English romances are for ‘social aspirants who wish to be entertained with what they consider to be the same fare, but in English, as their social betters’. But in fact this is no more true of Le Bone Florence of Rome than it is of Troilus and Criseyde: both poems are transformed by the shift to a new language and a new social milieu. Florence, the heroine of the romance, is, as I have said

in Pulp fictions of medieval England