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Nicola McDonald

Philip the Good’s extravagant Feast of the Pheasant held at Lille in February 1454, we are necessarily impressed not only with the enormity of the pie but the magnitude of the host’s prerogative. If we think about Richard’s Saracen’s Head as a conventional entremets, as the narrative, scrupulously attentive to the naturalistic detail of the feast, encourages us to do, then there is nothing absurd about it at all.35 Like other successful entremets, it articulates, with inescapable clarity, the nature and extent of the host’s authority; it asserts his hegemony and in its

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Duncan Sayer

encapsulate and reproduce mortuary culture and society in the moments adjoining burial and repurpose the ritualistic nature of burial to create new social identities (see Williams, 2006 ; Williams and Sayer, 2009 ; Fowler, 2010 ; Price, 2010 ). The living’s response to bereavement embodies subjective decisions within the physical world because a funeral takes place at a specific time; the grave has a physical shape, and material things furnish it. But that grave does not exist in isolation: it is located in a space that includes other burials with their own histories

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Open Access (free)
Nicola McDonald

way expectations are raised, challenged (by a series of apparently insurmountable obstacles), and then finally satisfied. The perfunctory nature of most romance conclusions (lovers are united, families reunited, status achieved, and wealth, property, dominion secured all in a few short lines) is indicative of their necessity (although short they cannot be omitted), but also of the fact that the narrative’s energy, and with it its pleasure, is predominantly elsewhere. The blatant artifice of the happy ending is one of the more obvious ways in which popular romance

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Alcuin Blamires

’ dimension to lesser significance. The ideological scope of the narrative is demeaned if that dimension is only held to ‘subserve religious concerns’ and to ‘provide a metaphorical statement of them’.9 A more positive way of responding to sociological implications in Sir MUP_McDonald_03_Ch2 46 11/18/03, 16:58 Sir Gowther 47 Gowther is offered by Margaret Robson when she reminds us of the common medieval assumption ‘that a male child takes its nature from his father and that an ignoble son means an ignoble father’.10 Robson focuses productively on fears, anxieties and

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Animal language and the return of loss in Beowulf
Mo Pareles

interpret the nature of these intimacies: raven and eagle, raven and wolf. The answer depends, in turn, on interpreting the speech so narrowly withheld from human comprehension. As Mary Kate Hurley notes, the verb reafian (plunder, lay waste), which attaches elsewhere in Beowulf to the actions of warriors, ‘suggests that human plunder can be equated – at least lexically – with the plundering of carrion eaters’. 43 Thus, in Meyer's experimental translation, the raven is making a battle boast: ‘The greedy raven will have

in Dating Beowulf
Open Access (free)
Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and John Lydgate’s Troy Book
Heather Blatt

writers address invitations to those who ‘rede or se’ the text, with William Caxton preferring to address those who ‘see or here’ the text.26 Together, the ‘see and here’ and the ‘rede and se’ constructions gesture to the encompassing nature of medieval literacy and reading practices, where both those who see or hear the text engage in the work of reading.27 Even the person who reads the text through aural apprehension can identify where the metre of a line has gone astray, and see to its correction. This construction first points toward the multivalent understanding of

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
Open Access (free)
Robin Norris

and tedious tribute of a monument’, an attitude that would seem to prohibit Beowulf's treasure-bedecked pyre and cliffside barrow, were he a reliable source. Tacitus also gives us the word comitatus , which is still used to encapsulate the relationship between an Anglo-Saxon leader and his thanes. 7 According to the Oxford English Dictionary , the word is first attested in English in 1875 as Victorian historians thought through the roots and the nature of the English

in Dating Beowulf
Open Access (free)
Thomas of Erceldoune’s prophecy, Eleanor Hull’s Commentary on the penitential Psalms, and Thomas Norton’s Ordinal of alchemy
Heather Blatt

passage on devotional reading. Rolle writes: [S]wet Jhesu, þy body is lyke a boke written al with rede ynke; so is þy body al written with rede woundes. Now, swete Jhesu, graunt me to rede upon þy boke, and somewhate to undrestond þe swetnes of þat writynge, and to have likynge in studious abydynge of þat redynge.13 While Rolle does not explicitly address time, the metaphor he deploys here nevertheless evokes several temporalities that converge through it. First, calling attention to the nature of the book as flesh and body invites readers to consider the formal

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
Duncan Sayer

included dissimilar participants who had their own unique experiences and perspectives. Each site had its own internal chronology and this dictated its shape and future development, as well as the nature of the burials. Therefore cemeteries were not just the focus of single-staged funeral events; they were an aesthetic, visually powerful tool that people used to recall the history of a community, their family and their genealogy. They were important for the development of individual and community memory (Williams, 2006 ; Devlin, 2007b ). This was developed within the

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Duncan Sayer

pluralistic nature of society. In this section we will be looking at evidence from the body, and situating that within an examination of social situations. For example, rather than investigating the medical or social cause of skeletal trauma and the individual experience, we examine with whom it is found, alongside the mortuary technologies already identified in the preceding chapters. Despite its title, this chapter is not about the individual, but it uses individuals as the building blocks with which to examine the community of which they were a part. By first identifying

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries