‘Adam, you are in a Labyrinth’: The First-Person Voice as the Nexus Between Body and Spirit in the Chronicle of Adam Usk

  • Alicia MarchantEmail author
Part of the Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind book series (SHPM, volume 15)


The fifteenth-century chronicle of Adam Usk (d.1430) is unique in several respects, in particular in the modes of narration that he employs. While other chronicles of the era employ covert forms of narration, in which an effaced and impersonal narrator presents a meaningful chronological narrative, in Adam’s chronicle there are frequent moments of overt narration in which he uses first person singular, provides detailed accounts of his personal spirituality, and uses strategies of internal focalisation, such as internal monologue and dreams, to narrate world events. Adam examines his individual place in the world, and does so within a genre in which such explorations are not expected. This article examines the intrusion of Adam into the chronicle narrative, both as an embodied being (a body travelling in the world he chronicles) and as a spiritual being, able to experience direct communication from god.


Adam Usk Fifteenth-century English chronicles Modes of narration Representations of space 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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