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Old things with new things to say

shaped by the relative speed or slowness of our encounters with them. Multiple two-​dimensional digital images, which can be summoned up, switched between and compared simultaneously, or computer programmes that speed up the processes of creation and decay, will provide us with very different concepts of activity and autonomy, life and death, speech and silence, than, say, prolonged or repetitive looking at an artefact in a museum, or a transcription made by eye and hand. Ongoing discussions of how we practise scholarship in the digital age, and the ways in which these

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
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Adela for death. This network of spiritual guidance and social intercourse was normal and part of the culture of aristocratic and noble women – indeed, the women of the Conqueror’s family were particularly prominent as patrons.23 Adela attracted the attention of important clergy who were keen to foster relations with her. For example, Baudri abbot of Bourgueil (1079–1130) wrote a poem of 1,367 lines for Adela which describes the furnishings and rich decorations of her hall and bedchamber.24 It used to be thought that the rich visual imagery and the detail in his

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Fragility, brokenness and failure

compensate for these alterations. A fragile tree is torn from its roots, but instead of dying gains voice and agency as the killer of Christ; the body of Christ becomes lifeless but the blood of his death unites flesh and wood, human and rood, and gives both broken, disused things a new vibrancy. Human beings are entangled with this kind of thingness and so the dreamer is afflicted and altered by the things he sees, hears and speaks, and is ultimately rendered an inert but talking thing  –​spiritually and verbally active but physically passive and dependent. While the

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture

undertenant before March 1190.17 There are seven charters in her name from her second widowhood, the period 1193–96.18 Muriel was probably acting to secure her gifts in her old age, and was thus seeking to ensure the security of her favourite foundation after her death. Muriel de Munteni is a truly remarkable example of female influence expressed through two marriages and widowhood. The ways that she was involved in religious benefaction shows how noblewomen could participate in land transfers as witnesses, alienors and confirmers despite changes in the female life cycle

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
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deserved to meet a miserable end, murdered in her bed by a vassal whom she had deprived of his lands. Chibnall believes that the detail of a murder of a warrior in a bath lies within the epic tradition.21 Thus she implies that the story is a fabrication. The historicity of the detail is not as important here as the significance of the way in which Mabel’s death is described. Orderic depicts Mabel using conventions of the epic genre; such a portrayal adds a certain dignity to her reputation whilst paradoxically seeking to destroy it, and thus he inverts the topos. In

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Unreadable things in Beowulf

–​784). By examining this passage in Beowulf, this chapter highlights connections between Grendel’s mother and the giants’ sword found in her underwater hall, arguing that they are both riddle-​like things that resist the kind of reading that Æschere was meant to offer King Hrothgar. Indeed, Æschere’s death provokes an anxiety in the text about ‘things’ that defy human interpretation and convey monstrous, marginal or altogether unknowable messages instead. While Beowulf is sensitive to the fact that a range of artefacts, including swords, have always been legible, the text

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
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simultaneously disrupt the bar scene, the philology classroom, and the world of the poem itself. Indeed, Blaser and Spicer seem to have directly considered the complicated relationship of their mid-century, queer homosocial intimacy to the ‘heroic’ homosocial intimacies in the narrative of Beowulf . As an obscure but intimate register of this, in Spicer's notes for his Beowulf translation, he scrawled ‘Robin – / The death of Hygelac’, 34 which might seem too elliptical to be of critical interest if at the

in Dating Beowulf
Thinking, feeling, making

recently argued that, in Beowulf , powerful ‘things’ often stand in the way of the story and its actors, momentarily capturing and diverting the course of the narrative. These things ‘interrupt the legend of the greatness of human deeds, in favour of a meditation on the status of the material world’. 22 In revenge for her son's death at the hands of Beowulf, Grendel's mother attacks Heorot and slays King Hrothgar's most trusted counsellor, Æschere, leaving his severed head on

in Dating Beowulf
Enigmas, agency and assemblage

enough to read it by feeling it. It is said that, blind and approaching death, Jorge Luis Borges made a special trip to the British Museum in 1986 to fulfil a longstanding desire to touch the Franks Casket and trace its riddles with his fingers, hoping that the relief carvings and inscriptions would magically bring to life the Anglo-​Saxon language and literature that otherwise seemed so far away in time and place.6 Despite its promise to provide immediate, physical access to a distant world, however, 103 The riddles of the Franks Casket 103 many of the Franks

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
The Rotuli de Dominabus et Pueris et Puellis de XII Comitatibus of 1185

sole heir or, with the development of co-parceny in the late twelfth century, they might acquire land as co-heiresses. Land could also be acquired through the institution of dowry: land which was given by a family to the husband when a daughter married (maritagium which could revert to a widow on her husband’s death); and through dower (a third share of her husband’s land allocated to her either on the day of her marriage by her husband or after his death). The correlation of type of land and age of widow in Table 4 shows that the institutions of dower and maritagium

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm