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Unknowing the Middle Ages: How Middle English Poetics Rewrote Literary History

The concept of the unknown captivated medieval theologians, mystics, lovers, and travelers for centuries, and yet literary scholars too readily reduce this topos to a romance trope.

Five Favourite Middle English Romances

Danièle Cybulskie, the 5MinMedievalist, shares her five favourite Middle English romances – what are yours?

Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in Middle English

Watch and listen to parts of The Canterbury Tales read in Middle English

Of Wilderness, Forest, and Garden: An Eco-Theory of Genre in Middle English Literature

I posit that the components of the environment play a role in the deployment of the narrative by shaping the characters and influencing the action.

For the Knyʒhtys tabylle and for the Kyngges tabylle: An Edition of the Fifteenth-Century Middle English Cookery Recipes in London, British Library’s MS Sloane 442

The present thesis offers an edition of some fifteenth century Middle English cookery recipes, more specifically those of the Sloane 442 manuscript (MS Sloane 442), located at the British Library, London. The cookery recipes of this collection were most likely meant for the tables of the upper classes

Teaching Tolkien’s Translations of Medieval Literature: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Orfeo and Pearl

J.R.R. Tolkien, the medievalist who became the father of modern fantasy literature, translated many poems out of Old English, Old Norse and Middle English into carefully versified modern English

How to Speak Middle English

This four-part series of videos created by Youtuber Thatoneguyinlitclass gives a quick guide to speaking in Middle English.

Horticultural Landscapes in Middle English Romance

Gardens played a significant role in the lives of European peoples living in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

Monstrous Women in Middle English Romance

I analyze Middle English narratives including the early sixteenth‐century translation of the prose Melusine, the Constance tale as adapted by Chaucer and Gower, and appearances of Medea in the works of Chaucer, Gower, and Caxton’s translation of the History of Jason to discover the ways these narratives use female monstrosity—in literal and figurative form—to dramatize the anxieties arising in a patriarchal society that defines the female as a slightly aberrant category of human

Guilt and Creativity in the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer

I argue that as Chaucer develops his own expansive, questioning poetics in The House of Fame and The Canterbury Tales, he problematises the principle of allegory on which the legitimacy of literary discourse was primarily based in medieval culture and the final fragments of The Canterbury Tales see Chaucer struggling, increasingly, to reconcile the boldness and independence of his poetic vision with the demands of his faith.

Amending the Ascetic: Community and Character in the Old English Life of St. Mary of Egypt

Among the most eligible saints for such treatment, Mary of Egypt deserves particular consideration: her popularity is evidenced by over a hundred extant Greek manuscripts of her Life and her uniquely prominent position in the Lenten liturgical cycle in the Eastern Church.

Medieval Misogyny and Gawain’s Outburst against Women in “‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’

The view has been gaining ground of late that the Gawain of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a knight renowned as ‘Pat fyne fader of nurture’ (1. 919) and as ‘so cortays and coynt’ of his ‘hetes’ (1. I525), degenerates at the moment of leave-taking from the Green Knight, his erstwhile host, to the level of a churl capable of abusing the ladies of that knight’s household (11.2411 -28).

A Kiss Is Just a Kiss: Heterosexuality and Its Consolations in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The famous line from that modern romance- “A kiss is just a kiss”- is the message the Gawain-poet gave his listeners six centuries ago.

Medieval Song of Summer: Sumer is Icumen In!

One of the most famous pieces of music that has survived is a Middle English song about summer.

Theories of the Nonsense Word in Medieval England

The goos the cokkow and the doke also
So cryede kek kek kokkow quek quek hye

British Library purchases the Catholicon Anglicum

The British Library has paid £92,500 in order to keep a 500-year old dictionary from leaving the United Kingdom. They announced earlier this week that they had completed the purchase of the Catholicon Anglicum, a 15th-century English-Latin dictionary.

Writing conquest: traditions of Anglo-Saxon invasion and resistance in the twelfth century

Writing Conquest examines the ways in which Latin, Old English, and Middle English twelfth-century historical and pseudo-historical texts remembered and reconstructed three formative moments of Anglo-Saxon invasion and resistance…

When Urine is like Snot – Middle English Uroscopy Texts

People in late medieval England were concerned about their health, and like their modern-day counterparts they might turn to self-help guides. One of the most popular ways to do this in the Late Middle Ages would be to analyze your own urine.

Chaucer’s reading list: Sir Thopas, Auchinleck, and Middle English romances in translation

One frustration of engaging in any branch of European medieval studies as an academic pursuit is that few claim expertise about the ancient or Roman worlds, but seemingly everyone on an internet discussion forum believes him or herself knowledgeable about the medieval period, usually based on patently false beliefs.

On Omissions and Substitutions in the Medieval English Translations of the Gospel

In view of this we carried out research on two English medieval translations of John’s Gospel, believing that their comparison would not only reveal differences in the perception and experience of biblical concepts (expressed through language), but also those in culture, society and cognition that occurred in the period between their occurrence.

A Word About Our Words

This may be a little hard to believe, considering the conspicuous lack of “thee” and “thou” in modern writing, but the forms of English that came before are even more foreign.

Gower’s “Confessio” and the “Nova statuta Angliae”: royal lessons in English law

In the following discussion, I will explore some hitherto unexamined links between the Confessio Amantis and one of these legal texts, the Nova Statuta Angliae or New Statutes of England, which circulated among professional and non-professional readers in the 1380s and 1390s and which Richard II received in a manuscript now in Cambridge: St. John’s College MS A.7.

Seasonal Setting and the Human Domain in Early English and Early Scandinavian Literature

Seasonal Setting and the Human Domain in Early English and Early Scandinavian Literature Paul Sander Langeslag University of Toronto: Doctor of Philosophy, Centre for Medieval Studies (2012) Abstract The contrast between the familiar social space and the world beyond has been widely recognised as an organising principle in medieval literature, in which the natural and the […]

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