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London house from the fourteenth century’. 14 The bedchamber is an indispensable place for privacy – either solitude or the mutual privacy that lovers seek. Chaucer’s Troilus uses his chamber for solitary swooning and delicious death-wishing despair. When smitten by Criseyde, Troilus’s first thought is to ‘hiden his desir in muwe’ (I.381). He ‘muwes’ his desire – locks it up in the small cage to which

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
Love, abjection and discontent

This book destabilises the customary disciplinary and epistemological oppositions between medieval studies and modern medievalism. It argues that the twinned concepts of “the medieval” and post-medieval “medievalism” are mutually though unevenly constitutive, not just in the contemporary era, but from the medieval period on. Medieval and medievalist culture share similar concerns about the nature of temporality, and the means by which we approach or “touch” the past, whether through textual or material culture, or the conceptual frames through which we approach those artefacts. Those approaches are often affective ones, often structured around love, abjection and discontent. Medieval writers offer powerful models for the ways in which contemporary desire determines the constitution of the past. This desire can not only connect us with the past but can reconnect present readers with the lost history of what we call the medievalism of the medievals. In other words, to come to terms with the history of the medieval is to understand that it already offers us a model of how to relate to the past. The book ranges across literary and historical texts, but is equally attentive to material culture and its problematic witness to the reality of the historical past.

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material culture. There is a desire for the past here, but there is a deep suspicion about the ability of love to unite us with that past. These different kinds of connections were then seen to do different kinds of work – feeling and knowing were constructed as non-convergent precisely because the entire history of the discipline was implicated in the connection between the two modes

in Affective medievalism

, Ireland was to be the focus of the Lacy family enterprise. Henry II’s choice of Hugh as royal administrator ran counter to his practice of promoting lesser men to positions of influence within the localities in his other realms. The reasons for Henry’s break in Ireland with his former policy say much about Angevin rule there, and the adaptability of Henry’s kingship. So too does his reaction to Hugh’s rapid rise to pre-­ eminence across the Irish Sea. Henry had to balance his desire for a stable Ireland with his need to control the colony, and his handling of Hugh de

in Lordship in four realms
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Medieval and medievalist practice

and post-medieval versions of that past. As a curious, affective hook for modern readers, the old chair feeds the desire shared by the historical and medievalist imagination to feel, touch and see the medieval past in all its dramatic immediacy, whether that impulse is creative or more scholarly. This episode certainly appeals to the archivist’s excitement about seeing an authentic source in an

in Affective medievalism

truth, the lure of the aura of the past, the desire to find a past narrative or a mythic structure to serve as a mirror for ourselves, or to use as a springboard for revolutionary change. The problem underlining all of these claims returns to the phenomena of loss and recovery. We have, a number of times in this book, made claims about the ability to recuperate the medieval via the

in Affective medievalism
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winnowed from error and that the effort was worth making’. 22 The appearance of historiographical ‘science’ fits neatly into a humanist narrative that codes early modern learning as monolithic, the first stirrings of a post-medieval epistemology that rejects fiction and fable in favour of truth and history. Levine’s distinction is overdrawn, of course; more the product of a late modern desire to establish the verities of

in Affective medievalism

reminiscens, veluti ex sopore evigilatus, mutata mente, adgregatis satellitum turmis, sese in arma 55 Writing the Welsh borderlands convertit’ (now when his youthful strength had increased, and a noble desire for command burned in his young breast, he remembered the valiant deeds of heroes of old, and as though awaking from sleep, he changed his disposition and gathering bands of followers took up arms).17 His early life makes clear the extent to which warfare defined life in the Welsh borderlands, and indeed the very identity of a young noble. Particularly, Guthlac

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England

preface: he would compose his Vita from different and heterogeneous origins … but he almost never indicates which piece is borrowed, or from whom. The heterogeneity he acknowledges is due, if we believe him, to his desire not to modify the different texts he collected about Remigius. 17 There is however a more striking heterogeneity, due to the (sometimes awkward) way in which Hincmar put into the Vita words he took from his own previous works. We cannot blame a computer for this frequent copy/ paste, so one must understand that Hincmar collected in his treatises

in Hincmar of Rheims

’. 15 Despite the arousal of Philip’s ‘paternal piety’, Rigord argues, the King was unable to travel to the Holy Land because ‘he had not yet received the desired heir from his wife’. 16 In his place, however, and at his own great expense, Philip sent several knights and foot soldiers. Rigord’s telling of this story is instructive on several levels, offering evidence of Philip’s early support for the crusading movement as well as a glimpse into the continuing efforts of Saint-Denis (he was a Dionysian monk) to

in Constructing kingship