Introduction: From Medieval to Medievalism

  • John Simons
Part of the Insights book series


The purpose of this book is manifested in the range and scope of the contributions which are collected between its covers. It presents both examples of new directions in the literary criticism of the medieval text and surveys the ways in which the idea of the Middle Ages has been used as a cultural token or as a cultural heritage between the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and that of Queen Victoria. This latter project is also intended to serve as a guide to the ways in which medievalism — considered broadly as the study and use of medieval culture in the post-medieval period — can be seen as a key to understanding the culture of those periods in which it is pursued. The motivation behind the collection of the essays here presented is a desire to counteract the prevailing tendency by which the study of medieval literature, as part of the general discourse of ‘Eng. Lit.’, has been marginalised.1


Literary Criticism Medieval Period Manuscript Study Medieval Literature Canterbury Tale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    The best commentator on this process of marginalisation is probably Lee Patterson. See his Negotiating the Past (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. C. Spearing, Criticism and Medieval Poetry, 2nd edn (London: Edward Arnold, 1972) pp. 5–6.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    N. F. Blake, The English Language in Medieval Literature (London: Dent, 1977) p. 8.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    J. A. Burrow, Ricardian Poetry (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1971).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    S. A. J. Bradley, Anglo-Saxon Poetry (London: Dent, 1982).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See, for example, P. Burke, Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe (London: Temple Smith, 1978) andGoogle Scholar
  7. B. Reay (ed.), Popular Culture in Seventeenth-Century England (London: Routledge, 1988).Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    On this see M. Girouard, The Return to Camelot (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1981).Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    See, for example, F. Yates, Astraea (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975), especially ‘Elizabethan Chivalry: the Romance of the Accession Day Tilts’, on pp. 88–111.Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    On Collier see D. Ganzel, Fortune and Men’s Eyes (London: Oxford University Press, 1982).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Editorial Board, Lumiere (Co-operative) Press Ltd 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Simons

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations