Singing the New Song
Literacy and Liturgy in Late Medieval England
Starting with the medieval institution of the ‘song school’, Katherine Zieman presents a study of 14th- and early 15th-century liturgical practice and its relationship to literacy. Where many scholars have related increased literacy during this period to writing practices, Zieman focuses on the reading and singing of written liturgy, and argues that the performance of sacred texts played a vital role in learning and literacy.
The World of André Le Nôtre
This 1990 study of André Le Nôtre (1643–1700), the creator of the French 'formal' garden, sets his work within the contexts of French traditions of land management, advances in cartography and engineering, and the social and architectural development of the château. Translated by Graham Larkin. Foreword by John Dixon Hunt.
The Queen's Dumbshows
John Lydgate and the Making of Early Theater
Claire Sponsler explores the places, forms and functions of early drama through a variety of ‘non-literary’ Middle English texts by John Lydgate, including dumbshows and mummings, verses for tapestry, The Procession of Corpus Christi and ballads for banquets.
Conquerors, Brides, and Concubines
Interfaith Relations and Social Power in Medieval Iberia
Simon Barton investigates the political and cultural significance of marriages and other sexual encounters between Christians and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula, from the Islamic conquest in the early eighth century to the fall of Granada and the end of Muslim rule in 1492.
Confessions of Faith in Early Modern England
Examining the work of authors including John Milton, John Donne, Thomas Browne and John Bunyan, this study focuses on passages that Brooke Conti calls 'confessions of faith' – autobiographical moments and sudden declarations of belief that occur in works of politics or religious controversy. Slightly off-mint.
Authorship and Publicity Before Print
Jean Gerson and the Transformation of Late Medieval Learning
Daniel Hobbins looks beyond the ecclesiastical career of Jean Gerson (1363–1429) to present the French theologian as representative of his wider cultural era and an author active at a time when written culture was rapidly expanding.
Shades of Difference
Mythologies of Skin Color in Early Modern England
Sujata Iyengar’s term ‘mythologies of color’ refers to a complex of early modern beliefs surrounding the significance of skin colour, whether white, black, red, green, yellow or transparent. She explores these cultural mythologies in their historical, geographical and literary contexts during the period when colonial expansion and the slave trade introduced Britons to more dark-skinned persons than they had previously encountered.
The Science of the Eye and the Birth of Modern French Fiction
With close textual exegesis of works of French realism, detective fiction, science fiction and the fantastic, Andrea Goulet examines the novel within the context of 19th-century scientific discourse, specifically, the epistemological debates of optics.
John Capgrave's Fifteenth Century
East Anglia in the 15th century was a centre of English culture, and its ferment of political, religious and cultural debate is reflected in the works, written in Middle English for lay audiences, of the Augustinian friar and scholar John Capgrave. Exploring the innovation and themes of his writings – piety, the intellectual, the spiritual integrity of the English Church, holy women, sainthood and governance – Karen Winstead argues against the prevalent view of Capgrave as a religious and political reactionary.
Censorship and Cultural Sensibility
The Regulation of Language in Tudor-Stuart England
Debora Shuger offers a new approach to the history of early modern English censorship. Attempting to recover the system of beliefs and values ‘that made the regulation of language, including state censorship, seem like a good idea’, the study deals with issues that remain relevant today: the rhetoric of ideological extremism, the use of defamation to ruin political opponents, and the grounding of law in theological ethics.
Animal Bodies, Renaissance Culture
Discussing familiar animals – horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rats and moles – in the literary contexts of Renaissance works including Hamlet, Utopia and Romeo and Juliet, Karen Raber argues that ‘there is no such thing as human identity, history, culture, without the prior cooperation, collaboration, habitation, ideological appropriation, consumption of animals, without animals as the "always already" of both materiality and culture itself.’
The Origins of Freemasonry
Facts and Fictions
Countering the myths propagated by novels, films and rumour, Margaret Jacob’s history focuses on the founding decades of freemasonry in the 18th century. As well as dispelling the myth of its Knights Templar origins, her book sheds new light on the movement, including women’s role in the lodges, and examines the appeal of freemasonry to men such as George Washington, Voltaire and Goethe. Off-mint.