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Cultural Difference and Material Culture in Middle English Romance: Normans and Saxons

ISBN: 9780415877985 | 0415877989
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Routledge
Pub. Date: 3/12/2013

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This book explores how the cultural distinctions and conflicts between Anglo-Saxons and Normans originating with the Norman Conquest of 1066 prevailed well into the fourteenth century and are manifest in a significant number of Middle English romances including King Horn, Sir Orfeo, the Erl of Tolous, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Degrevantand others. Specifically, the study looks at how the material culture of these poems (architecture, battle tactic, landscapes) systematically and persistently distinguishes between Norman and Anglo-Saxon cultural identity. Additionally, it examines the influence of the English Outlaw Tradition, itself grounded in Anglo-Saxon resistance to the Norman Conquest, as expressed in specific recurring scenes (disguise and infiltration, forest exile) found in many Middle English romances. Each chapter focuses on a single narrative feature (e.g. castle architecture), including necessary background material from historical and archaeological evidence, and explores that narrative feature in several relevant English romances.


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