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Afterlives of the Lady of Shalott and Elaine of Astolat

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

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  • Addresses a number of scholarly communities including Arthurian scholars, medievalists, and Victorian scholars

  • Extends the study of Arthurian characters by focusing on female characters via a feminist lens

  • Considers adaptations beyond Tennyson to examine music, art, popular culture, and literature

Part of the book series: Arthurian and Courtly Cultures (SACC)

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Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xix
  2. Introduction

    • Ann F. Howey
    Pages 1-50
  3. Postscript

    • Ann F. Howey
    Pages 309-316
  4. Back Matter

    Pages 317-324

About this book

This book investigates adaptations of The Lady of Shalott and Elaine of Astolat in Victorian and post-Victorian popular culture to explore their engagement with medievalism, social constructions of gender, and representations of the role of art in society. Although the figure of Elaine first appeared in medieval texts, including Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, Tennyson’s poems about the Lady and Elaine drew unprecedented response from musicians, artists, and other authors, whose adaptations in some cases inspired further adaptations. With chapters on music, art, and literature (including parody, young people’s literature, and historical fiction and fantasy), this book seeks to trace the evolution of these characters and the ways in which they reinforce or challenge conventional gender roles, represent the present’s relationship to the past, and highlight the power of art.  

Keywords

  • afterlives
  • adaptations
  • Lady of Shalott
  • Elaine of Astolat
  • medievalism
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Victorian literature
  • neo-Victorian
  • British and Irish Literature

Reviews

“A comprehensive and lively study of the Lady of Shalott/Elaine of Astolat, this book documents the popularity of that figure and the wide range of texts and artistic and musical interpretations devoted to her. In her study, Ann Howey examines an impressive number of these texts and demonstrates the great variety of treatments and the enduring appeal of this intriguing character. The scope of Afterlives and the insightful close reading of many of the most important of the works devoted to her make this book essential for anyone interested in Arthurian Studies, Victorian Studies, literary influence, or Medievalism.” (Alan Lupack, Emeritus Director of the Rossell Hope Robbins Library and the Koller-Collins Graduate English Center, University of Rochester, USA)

“In this exhaustive, well-written, and thoroughly researched volume, Professor Ann Howey provides what will surely prove to be the definitive study of the appearances of the Lady of Shalott and Elaine of Astolat from the medieval to the post-modern periods across multiple disciplines including music, art, literature, young adult literature, historical fiction, and fantasy.  The theoretical perspectives that shape this study are equally clearly-delineated and multi-faceted, as they encompass feminist theories of death and representation, agency studies, the historical development of the Arthuriad, medievalism, neo-Victorianism, and adaptation theory.” (Kevin J. Harty, Professor of English, La Salle University, USA, and Past President of the International Arthurian Society, North American Branch)

Afterlives is remarkable for both its breadth and its depth. Engaging with historical context, cultural studies, feminism, and adaptation theory, Howey provides insightful readings of Elaine and the Lady across poetry, art, needlework, popular music, short stories, young adult literature, historical fiction, and fantasy. Her examination of these reimagined Elaine/Lady tales, from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, powerfully contributes to a number of fields: Arthuriana, medievalism, Victorianism, children’s literature, and popular culture. (Susan Aronstein, Professor of English, University of Wyoming, USA, and co-author of The Road to Wicked: The Marketing and Consumption of Oz from Baum to Broadway (2018))

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada

    Ann F. Howey

About the author

Ann F. Howey is Associate Professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, where she researches and teaches in the areas of Arthurian popular culture, young people’s literature, and speculative fiction, with a special interest in adaptation and medievalism. She has previously published Rewriting the Women of Camelot (2001) and co-authored, with Stephen R. Reimer, A Bibliography of Modern Arthuriana 1500-2000 (2006).  


Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-47690-8
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)