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pursuing their own strategies. In the context of the twelfth-century evidence, the following discussion of women’s participation in spiritual relationships with churchmen argues that this was an important route for male–female interaction, and that this stimulated the production of T 30 patronage and power devotional literature written for specific women. Thus such relationships between churchmen and noblewomen were a route for indirect female influence in the context of the production of specific texts. The role of twelfth-century secular noblewomen in procuring

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

Irish colour term glas, often translated as the colour of ‘sky in water’ or green, grey, blue. And so the bodily substantiation of God cannot be divorced from environmental features. Human beings  –​even saintly humans –​are not at the centre of a system of nature, but entangled within it.2 The elemental fluidity of Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands shapes perceptions of the spiritual world and its relation to the temporal. As well as acting as an assembly, the saintly body is also a thing that crosses the boundaries between life and death, animate and inanimate

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
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On Anglo-Saxon things

has questioned whether sensory experience allows direct access to reality, employing the term ‘hyperobjects’ (2013) to describe entities of such vast temporal and spatial dimensions that they defeat traditional ideas about what a thing actually is.12 In Entangled (2012), archaeologist Ian Hodder has questioned the human-​centred perspective in studies of material culture, discussing human ‘entanglements’ with material things and demonstrating how things have always directed us, defined us and driven our supposed progress through history.13 Anthropologist Tim Ingold

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture

abstract concept or a divinity), but a physical object or being’.7 The weird creature (the OE wiht) we encounter at the outset of the poem, and veiled by its obscure speech, turns out to be a familiar phenomenon, a part of everyday experience. By taking on board the lessons of the riddles, and incorporating their approach to the material world into our critical practice, Tiffany’s essay aims to encourage the humanities to abandon uncritical assumptions about the nature of material substance, for ‘the reality of matter must always remain uncertain, always a problem that

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
Enigmas, agency and assemblage

hierarchy in terms of reading one side in light of another (whether pagan/​ Christian or secular/​spiritual or magic/​religion) but how each side is read transforms and is transformed by the others. This manner of reading the casket is as much about concealment as revelation and our constant awareness of what we are not seeing defies resolution. Even the text (on the back panel) slides from Old English to Latin, from Anglo-​Saxon runes to the Roman alphabet and back. Again, this transformation is not fixed but rectangular and continuously on the move. Via its use of

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
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The Orcherd of Syon, Titus and Vespasian, and Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes

viewed as essential to understanding the text. According to the Orcherd, reading is most meaningful when it emerges from readers’ exercise of controlled agency, and the translator designed the structure of the text to elicit, guide, and limit that agency in order to direct his readers’ attention towards the goal of spiritual development. One consequence of such nonlinear reading in both medieval and digital media is its emphasis on individualized experiences. The choices readers pursue while navigating a work allow them to ‘make sense’ of their nonlinear experience

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England

). Having outlined the religious content of the Siege of Melayne, I will suggest that it can be seen as representative of what one might call ‘devotional romance’ (that is, a chivalric narrative with pronounced spiritual or theological content), and will briefly compare some examples. While the category of ‘devotional romance’ may be useful to modern readers, it is nonetheless crucial to note that the manuscript context shows the extent to which medieval readers were unfettered by generic constraints. The combination and juxtaposition of texts within medieval manuscript

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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The wall texts of a Percy family manuscript and the Poulys Daunce of St Paul’s Cathedral

late-medieval England order to provide more accessible experiences to wider audiences. Rewards might even be considered greater for those who travelled mentally as opposed to physically, for the mental travellers received their rewards for this spiritual labour from God alone.67 Yet the continued popularity of pilgrimage in the later Middle Ages challenges the valuation thus placed upon mental pilgrimage. As Kathryne Beebe observes, ‘Pilgrimage in spirit perhaps drew basic inspiration from a fundamental ambivalence within Christian thought about the merits of going

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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Reading practices and participation in digital and medieval media

Erceldoune’s prophecy provokes readers to reorganize chronologies, with the effect that readers craft individual narratives of past and future. Hull and Norton focus on modes of temporal manipulation, engaging readers in choices that affect their temporalized experiences of reading. These texts encourage readers to shape their understanding of personal history, political history, and the future of the political or spiritual self through temporally mediated reading. In this way, specific perceptual views of time emerge from individual acts of reading. Reading becomes an

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England