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Medieval English Romance in Context

by Gail Ashton

Part of the Texts and Contexts Series

Medieval English Romance in Context Synopsis

This book presents an introduction to the key texts and historical, cultural and critical contexts of medieval romance. Medieval English Romance in Context is a clear, accessible and concise introduction to medieval English verse romantic texts and their wider contexts. It begins by introducing key issues and events that impacted on romance writing and its reception such as chivalric ideals, the Black Death, wars and 'Englishness' as well as key literary issues such as medieval manuscript production and its transmission. Close readings of key texts - including Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Breton lays and Chaucer's The Man of Law's Tale - highlight generic features and issues like family drama, space and time, and nationhood. The final section introduces key critical interpretations from different perspectives including gender and queer theory, and post-colonialism in medieval studies. A chapter on afterlives and adaptations explores reinterpretations of medieval romance and the Arthurian cycles in a range of popular texts and narratives from Doctor Who to Batman. 'Review, Reading and Research' sections give suggestions for further reading, discussion and research. Introducing texts, contexts and criticism, this is a lively and up-to-date resource for anyone studying Medieval English Romance. Texts and Contexts is a series of clear, concise and accessible introductions to key literary fields and concepts. The series provides the literary, critical, historical context for texts and authors in a specific literary area in a way that introduces a range of work in the field and enables further independent study and reading.

Medieval English Romance in Context Press Reviews

Medieval English Romance in Context is both broad in its sweep and precise in the information it offers about the historical contexts of medieval romances and the critical approaches which have been taken to them. Ashton makes innovative and creative use of an impressive range of literary and other theories to offer readings which are both exciting in their wider implications and closely focused on the texts. The book is written in a clear style which will engage any reader who is interested in medieval romance and in modern incarnations of the genre. - Louise Sylvester, Reader in English Language, University of Westminster, UK Over the past decade, the way we think about medieval romance has fundamentally changed. From a literary form once associated with escapism, we are beginning to think about romance as an expression of difficult and complex desires associated with gender, sexuality, national identity, social class, and even race and empire. Gail Ashton's guide renders these new approaches clear and accessible and does so in a way that gives us a way of teaching not only medieval romance, but premodern literature in general, in the twenty-first century. - John Ganim, Professor of English, University of California, Riverside, USA

Book Information

ISBN: 9781847062505
Publication date: 11th February 2010
Author: Gail Ashton
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 176 pages
Categories: Literary studies: classical, early & medieval,

About Gail Ashton

Gail Ashton is an academic, writer and poet with research and publishing interests in medieval and women's literature, poetry and contemporary literary theory. Recent books include Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (Continuum, 2007) and the co-edited Teaching Chaucer (Palgrave, 2007).

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