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newly 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 medieval English

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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What lovers want

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 defending

in Pulp fictions of medieval England