sent into the sea from whence he came. He floats, unassisted and surrounded by an armoury, beyond the Danish horizon.
Does Scyld travel back in time in search of those who sent him, as a baby, from them? Is his funeral an act of post-mortem abandonment – or, more precisely, exposure – by the Danes, who off-load his hyper-martial cargo on yet another unnamed, unknown, and unsuspecting people? The emotional ambivalence and complexity that underwrites Scyld's infant and funereal send-offs temporally entangles him in the pasts and futures of multiple
scholars may or may not find recognizable, the field's historical intimacy with misogynistic and racist ideology, and our ongoing complicities in structural racism.
Within this very volume for instance, we notice that not a single person of colour appears among our contributors. We thus note the ways in which intimacy can – regardless of intentions – reproduce forms of exclusion, as Benjamin A. Saltzman investigates in his chapter. Indeed, despite the intentionally international character of the list of contributors
discovered and celebrated forms of classical poetry. As such they are
more indicative of post-medieval prejudice, about everything from
social class to Catholicism, than anything inherent in the medieval
genre. And it is precisely these inherited distinctions that we, informed
by the insights of post-structuralist thought, have learned to interrogate. Yet, popular romance has hardly benefited from the collapse of
the traditional hierarchies of aesthetic (and with it academic) judgement. There must be many reasons why. The slowness with which
kinship … were indispensable to the family … women thus
retained claims to power and influence within the feudal family’.24 In
the late Middle Ages a noble home is not the Victorian ‘haven in a
heartless world’ but a kind of command post in the constant struggle
for familial aggrandisement.
Like Edwards and Davenport in their readings of the poem, I have
constantly referred to violence as a problem to be ‘solved’ by the
happy ending. However, this reading is both too simple and anachronistic, since those in the upper ranks saw violence as a legitimate tool for