absence of French genealogical literature by arguing that the King circa 1100 did not have the need to prove his dynastic validity. 5 The Fleury text argues against this point, and its production in the year following the successful capture of Jerusalem by the first crusaders may help to explain its significance. As we saw in Chapter 2 , at precisely the time this text was composed, the Capetian court was in a period of crisis. Philip I had not joined the First Crusade, and his brother Hugh had (in 1100) come home in shame, having deserted the crusading host and not
occupation and not their alleged state of mind. ‘Idiocy, mental deficiency, folly, mental retardation, intellectual disability and learning disability are not all the same names for a trans-historically stable subject.’ 3 The underlying ideas might be related, but the individual manifestations varied across time and place, possibly with the exception of the universal ‘folly’ of late fifteenth- and sixteenth-century literature ascribed to all post-lapsarian humanity. Which all points to the importance of including the broader context of culture when considering the
institutional approaches to understanding French kingship. More recently, though, as cultural and anthropological methodologies are applied, new ways of interpreting the transformation of kingship have emerged, and it is one aim of this book to contribute to this growing literature.
Historians have long looked to the institutional developments of the central Middle Ages to explain the rise of the modern French State. 15 Even before the Middle Ages had ended, monks close to the French court were arguing in the Grandes Chroniques de France that
’historiographie française du IXe au XIIe siècle’, in Etudes ligériennes d’histoire et d’archéologie médiévales , ed. René Louis (Auxerre, 1975), pp. 23–33; Frederick S. Paxton, ‘ Abbas and rex : Power and authority in the literature of Fleury, 987–1044’, in The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950–1350 , ed. Robert F. Berkhoffer, Alan Cooper, and Adam J. Kosto (Aldershot, 2005), pp. 197–212.
18 Bernard Guenée, ‘Les généalogies entre l’histoire et la politique: La fierté d’être Capétien, en France, au Moyen Âge’, Annales 33 (1978), 450–77 (pp. 450
Later, under Edward III and Richard II, close connections with Emperor Charles IV, king of Bohemia, encouraged a steady to and fro of musicians and artists between Prague and Westminster. 52 The late fourteenth-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer, so often hailed as the father of English literature, was deeply influenced by contemporary writing in France and Italy. A century later, after William Caxton set up the first printing press in England, a number of continental experts moved to England to exploit the new demand for books, including William Machlinia, from Mechlin
I n the spring of 1106, a sizeable crowd gathered at Chartres Cathedral to witness the marriage of the Norman crusader Bohemond of Antioch to Constance, the eldest daughter of King Philip I of France. 1 Few could have predicted a royal bride for the Norman warlord, the son of a cattle poacher turned duke who only a decade before had faced the prospect of a landless existence after losing his inheritance to a half-brother. 2 When he took the cross for the First Crusade in 1096, Bohemond was little more than an itinerant noble in
Century’, in Studies in Art and Literature for Belle da Costa Greene , ed. Dorothy Miner (Princeton, 1954), pp. 67–82.
3 Léon Levillain, ‘Essai sur les origines du Lendit’, Revue historique 155 (1927), 241–76; Rolf Grosse, ‘Reliques du Christ et foires de Saint-Denis au XIe siècle: A propos de la Descriptio clavi et corone Domini ’, Revue d’histoire de l’Eglise de France 87 (2001), 357–75.
4 Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Brooks McNamara, ‘Processional Performance: An Introduction’, The Drama Review 29 (1985
Much of this book is taken up with studying the European immigrants who are readily visible in the official records as having a presence in England between 1300 and 1550. As we have seen, English jurors, administrators and politicians used a well-established range of labels to describe these incomers, ranging from the readily recognisable labels of ‘French’, ‘Scottish’, ‘Irish’ and ‘Icelander’ to the more generic forms of ‘Dutch’ and ‘Teutonic’ and the various descriptors used for Iberians, Italians and ‘Greeks’. In that they were
in the Bible and the Church Fathers, in medieval science, theology and
philosophy, and in the literature of contemporary France and Italy. When
Chaucer presents himself to us, it is usually as a ‘fanatic
bibliophile’ and as ‘conspicuously bookish’. 6 How useful is it to see
Chaucer’s works as holding up a mirror to life (section i)? What
sorts of literary and non-literary conventions were at his disposal for
Socio-cultural considerations of intellectual disability
-Davies, Register of Minstrels , xiii and 9; cf. idem, Menestrellorum Multitudo , 26, 55–60; also discussed in Valerie Allen, On Farting: Language and Laughter in the Middle Ages (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007), 164.
129 Sylvia Huot, Madness in Medieval FrenchLiterature: Identities Found and Lost (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 44.
130 Welsford, The Fool , xii.