This collection and the romances it investigates are crucial to our understanding of the aesthetics of medieval narrative and to the ideologies of gender and sexuality, race, religion, political formations, social class, ethics, morality and national identity with which those narratives emerge.
,’ Journal of Semitic Studies 27 (1982), pp. 221, 239,
Nos. 8–15, 61–65; Chazan, European Jewry, pp. 40–49, 307–308, Nos. 7–22.
I. G. Marcus, ‘Review of Robert Chazan, “European Jewry and the First
Crusade,”’ Speculum 64 (1989), pp. 685–688; I. G. Marcus, ‘History, Story
and Collective Memory: Narrativity in Early Ashkenazic Culture,’ Prooftexts
10 (1990), pp. 365–388; R. Chazan, ‘Factivity of MedievalNarrative: A Case
Study of the Hebrew First Crusade Narrative,’ Association for Jewish Studies
Review 16 (1991), pp. 31–56; Goldin, The Ways of Jewish Martyrdom, pp. 85
sometimes accommodated, but it is never repressed. And it is with this in mind that I
want to return for a moment to the anxieties that exercised romance’s
early detractors: popular romance, put simply, is a dangerous recreation. Despite the gulf that inevitably separates us from these medievalnarratives, they retain the power to shock us, to unsettle our assumptions about, among other things, gender and sexuality, race, religion,
A polemical introduction 17
political formations, social class, ethics, morality and aesthetic
the rape scene, allusions to the fiend as father occur in
Advocates at 96, 173, 206, 228, 238, 271, and 742, but Royal matches
these only at 99, 203, 225, and 264.
Advocates, ed. Mills, lines 172–3.
‘He pleyd hym with that ladé hende, / And ei yode scho bownden with
tho fende’ (91–2), glossed by Mills on p. 150.
A. C. Spearing, ‘Early medievalnarrative style’, in his Readings in
Medieval Poetry (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 24–55 (pp. 32–3).
Critics often note the pathos of the Duchess’s account. Saunders suggests
that the Lady creates a romance fiction ‘where prayer has
revered as the possessors of the
Old Law, and historical Jews, who are reviled as the killers of Christ.
The division between scriptural Jews and historical Jews is played out
in the sermon literature, the drama, poetic histories and narratives; yet
The Siege of Jerusalem
this most basic of paradigms is considerably complicated as the double
value of the Jews is complexly reconfigured or even collapsed in
The Pauline division between historical (‘they are enemies’) and
scriptural (‘they are most dear
Le Bone Florence of Rome and bourgeois self-making
bourgeois women, unlike
their aristocratic counterparts, must have been the unmediated and
intimate management of what I call the ‘everyday body’ in the home,
to which I shall return later.
This home was the context, then, of reading and prayer – the kind
of material found in CUL Ff. 2. 38, which simultaneously constituted
and expressed urban domestic values. Of the ‘family’ narratives in
CUL Ff. 2. 38 most, like most medievalnarratives apart from saints’
lives, have men as their protagonists. The exception is Le Bone Florence
of Rome, which only survives here.16 It
fuller analysis of ‘redemptive’ endings of this kind see Ad Putter,
‘The narrative logic of Emaré’, in Putter and Gilbert (eds), The Spirit of
Medieval English Popular Romance, pp. 157–80.
196 Ad Putter
27 Piero Boitani, English MedievalNarrative in the 13th and 14th Centuries
(Cambridge, 1982), p. 54.
28 On the precise chronology, see J. G. Gouttebrooze, ‘Sur l’étendue
chronologique du premier mouvement du Conte du Graal’, Le Moyen
Age, 31 (1976), 5–24.
29 For a discussion of ‘tokens’ in Middle English romance see Richard