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London, British Library MS Harley 2253 and the traffic of texts
Rory Critten

French text of this poem illuminates the possible uses of French to address an insular audience. In the Middle English ‘Flemish Insurection’, by contrast, the use of French words and French-​ derived lexis may be seen to evoke a continental French identity that is at odds with English attitudes and interests. After a run down of the international connections promoted by the Harley scribe’s compilation choices and the vibrant Hereford milieu to which he belonged, I then return to f. 76r of Harley 2253 in order to elaborate a fresh reading of the page’s final poem, ‘Dum

in Household knowledges in late-medieval England and France
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The narrator in the Scottish Legendary
Eva von Contzen

’s Narrators, p. 2. 11 Lawton, Chaucer’s Narrators, p. 4. 12 See the Appendix for more detail of the editorial history of the compilation. 82 The Scottish Legendary 13 See Joceyln Wogan-Browne et al. (eds), The Idea of the Vernacular: An Anthology of Middle English Literary Theory 1280–1520 (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1999), pp. 3–105. 14 On the basis of these references, we can classify the Prologue as a redactor’s prologue because the poet is largely concerned with his role as translator and editor of the legends; see Andrew Galloway, ‘Middle English Prologues

in The Scottish Legendary
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Character depiction and direct discourse
Eva von Contzen

devil enticed to fall in love with Theodora, and an old woman who acts as go-between (a ‘karlyng’; XXX, 15740). The passage in general is heavily influenced by classical and medieval literary traditions, most notably satire, comedy, and romance, which frequently draw on the character of the garrulous old woman who acts as a bawd. Dame Sirith is a prime example of this character-type in Middle English literature.41 The beginning of the life of Theodora, then, is set not so much in the hagiographic as in the satirical and tragicomic traditions. Only after her adultery

in The Scottish Legendary
Open Access (free)
Greeks and Saracens inGuy of Warwick
Rebecca Wilcox

England’s historic culpabilities in its interactions with other countries and transforms these culpabilities into redeeming alternative possibilities for remembering the past and for performing the future. The historical events to which Guy of Warwick responds, above all others, took place during the first four – perhaps five – Crusades. Indeed, the earliest Anglo-Norman versions of Guy, which predate the oldest known English translations by more than half a century, followed closely on the Fourth Crusade.2 While the Middle English Guy is clearly based on the Anglo

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
The Scottish Legendary as a challenge to the ‘literary turn’ in fifteenth-century hagiography
Eva von Contzen

Exemplarity’, in Paul Strohm (ed.), Middle English: Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 335–51, at p. 338.   2 Winstead, ‘Saintly Exemplarity’, p. 338.   3 Christopher Cannon, ‘Monastic Productions’, in David Wallace (ed.), The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 316–48, at p. 341. Derek Pearsall’s quote is taken from his monograph John Lydgate (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970), p. 298.   4 Cf. e.g. John Lydgate, Saint Albon and Saint

in Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain
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Mark Ormrod, Bart Lambert and Jonathan Mackman

, under Henry IV and Henry V, it was also manifested in the self-conscious rejection of French and the adoption of Middle English as a language of authentic communication between the king and his subjects. 6 Another very important element of the new Englishness was an emphasis on independence and self-determination, captured in the concept of sovereignty, which entered English political rhetoric from the time of Edward I. The idea was used across the period to argue both for the territorial integrity of English dependencies (especially Gascony) and for English immunity

in Immigrant England, 1300–1550
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Semantics of intellectual disability
Irina Metzler

, as lack of wisdom or foolishness, first appears in Middle English via Old French around 1422 in Hoccleve’s Tale of Jonathas. 37 In patristic and medieval philosophical discussions there may be a conceptual difference between stultus and insipiens. The etymology of in-sipiens , implying the contrasting lack of, is obviously derived from sapiens , while stultus is connected with stolidus ‘dull, obtuse’. ‘The question whether there is a difference arose for Salvian from the Vulgate Psalm-text which says that both will perish: simul insipiens et stultus

in Fools and idiots?
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Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and John Lydgate’s Troy Book
Heather Blatt

1 Corrective reading: Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and John Lydgate’s Troy Book This chapter focuses on a trope, one so common in medieval English literature that its critical work in the construction of latemedieval reading practices has gone unnoticed. This rhetorical device, often simply referred to as the humility topos, flourishes in Middle English during the fifteenth century, although it has its roots in fourteenth-century French of England and was common in Latin hagiographies before that.1 In the humility topos, a writer draws attention to

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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The problem of exemplary shame
Mary C. Flannery

various recent critics of Middle English literature have pointed out, ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are not fixed or ‘universal characteristics that each person throughout history possesses to a greater or lesser degree’. 7 Rather, they are constructed, performed, and imagined differently in different places and times, and for different groups and subgroups. While multiple and competing concepts of both femininity and masculinity existed alongside one another in the Middle Ages, some aspects of each (such as the ideal of

in Practising shame
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Sanctity as literature
Eva von Contzen

and New York: Routledge, 2002). 18 Attridge, The Singularity of Literature, p. 20. 19 The mystics too put themselves in a potentially precarious position in their claims of having access to the divine. 20 See Karen A. Winstead, ‘Saintly Exemplarity’, in Paul Strohm (ed.), Middle English: Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 336–51, at p. 338. Scholars who have prominently addressed these changes and discussed the cultural grounding of the depiction and functions of the holy include Delany, Impolitic

in Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain