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By Nicholas Perkins

Medieval romance narratives glitter with the cloth gadgets that have been valued and exchanged in late-medieval society: fans' earrings and warriors' swords, holy relics and fascinating or corrupted our bodies. Romance, even though, can be a style within which such gadgets make which means on quite a few degrees, and never consistently in predictable methods. those new essays study from different views how romances reply to fabric tradition, but in addition express how romance as a style is helping to represent and transmit that tradition. targeting romances circulating in Britain and eire among the 12th and 16th centuries, person chapters handle such questions because the dating among gadgets and protagonists in romance narrative; the materiality of female and male our bodies; the interplay among visible and verbal representations of romance; poetic shape and manuscript textuality; and the way a nineteenth-century version of medieval romances provoked artists to homage and satire. Nicholas Perkins is affiliate Professor and train in English at St Hugh's university, college of Oxford. individuals: Siobhain Bly Calkin, Nancy Mason Bradbury, Aisling Byrne, Anna Caughey, Neil Cartlidge, Mark Cruse, Morgan Dickson, Rosalind box, Elliot Kendall, Megan G. Leitch, Henrike Manuwald, Nicholas Perkins, advert Putter, Raluca L. Radulescu, Robert Allen Rouse

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The court of Hunlaf is hierarchical, compartmentalized and secretive. 13 The feminine part of the court, hidden away in Rigmel’s chambers, is a place of female activity, seductive and titillating but dependant on report and gossip about events in the main court. There is music and entertainment, but it is left vague and unspecified and seems a distraction from the main business of the court. /trans. Judith Weiss (Exeter: Exeter UP, 1999), lines 10337–58. Romance of Horn, ed. Pope, II. 110–18 provides a valuable analysis of the rich vocabulary of ‘seignurial etiquette’ in the poem.

Indd 18 06/01/2015 13:16 Introduction medieval courtly life, but are also significant ethical locations. Brittany, Westir and Suddene are subjected to a ‘searching and humane analysis of courtly culture’ by a poet who relishes the material richness of the courts he describes, but moves further to explore how his protagonists respond to or modify their surroundings. Robert Allen Rouse invites us to develop an ‘emplaced reading’ of medieval romance too, in his case using the palimpsestic histories and spaces of London as a way to uncover layers of meaning in late-medieval literary texts.

The writing of the city is founded upon narratives of invasion, incorporation and defence, many of them based on a mixture of romance and chronicle aetiologies. Rouse explores how some traditions and locations—for example, those of London’s Jewish population—are obscured or converted to serve new religious and political ideologies, through reading St Erkenwald with its engagement with London’s mythic history, and The Siege of Jerusalem and Titus and Vespasian, which use a historical–romance frame to pursue an argument about civic identity and desire back in London.

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