Imaginary Worlds in Medieval Books: Exploring the Manuscript Matrix

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This book presents a series of narratives that reflect the compelling and sometimes dangerous allure of the world of books - and the world in books - in late-medieval Britain. It envisions the confines of medieval manuscripts as virtual worlds: realms that readers call forth through imaginative interactions with books' material features.
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About the author

MARTHA RUST teaches English literature at New York University, USA.
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Published on
Apr 30, 2016
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History / Europe / General
History / General
Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
Literary Criticism / General
Literary Criticism / Medieval
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Contents Contributors Preface Julia Marvin: Latinity and Vernacularity in the Tradition of Geoffrey of Monmouth: Text, Apparatus and Readership Erik Kooper: Content Markers in the Manuscripts of Robert of Gloucester¿s Chronicle Dániel Bagi: Genealogische Fälschungen und Fiktionen als Legitimierungsmittel in narrativen Quellen des Östlichen Europas im 11¿13. Jahrhundert Isabel de Barros Dias: The Emperor, the Archbishop and the Saint: One Event Told in Different Textual Forms Anders Bengtsson: L¿Essor de la proposition participiale dans la prose historique Cristian Bratu : Translatio, autorité et affirmation de soi chez Gaimar, Wace et Benoît de Sainte-Maure R. W. Burgess and Michael Kulikowski: Medieval Historiographical Terminology: The Meaning of the Word Annales Nicholas Coureas: The Conquest of Cyprus during the Third Crusade according to Greek Chronicles from Cyprus Isabelle Guyot-Bachy : La Chronique abrégée des rois de France et les Grandes chroniques de France: concurrence ou complémentarité dans la construction d¿une culture historique en France à la fin du Moyen ge? Mihkel Mäesalu: A Crusader Conflict Mediated by a Papal Legate: The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia as a Legal Text Adrien Quéret-Podesta : Le Gallus anonymus et l¿abbaye de Saint Gilles du Gard Lisa M. Ruch: Digression or Discourse? William of Newburgh¿s Ghost Stories as Urban Legends Biörn Tjällén: Political Thought and Political Myth in Late Medieval National Histories: Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo (¿1470)
A sport and a military exercise, hunting involved aggressive action with weapons and dogs, and pursuit to the point of combat and killing, for the sake of recreation, food or conquest. The Stag of Love explores the body of erotic metaphor that developed from the hunt together with Ovid's flourishing legacies.

While representing a range of human experience, the metaphor finds its dominant expression in the literature of love. As Marcelle Thiébaux demonstrates, the hunt's disciplined violence represented sexual desire, along with strategies and arts for getting love, the joys of love, and love's elevating mystique. The genre gave rise to a lavish imagery of footprints and tracking, arrows, nets, dogs and leashes, wounds, dismemberment and blood, that persisted to Shakespeare's day.

Thiébaux opens with an account of a medieval chase and its ceremonies. She introduces hunt manuals that defined and gentrified the sport, in stages from the party's departure to the ferocity of the struggle to the animal's death. These stages adapted readily to narrative structures in the love chase, showing pursuit, confrontation with the beloved, and consummation. In English literature, Thiébaux considers Beowulf, Aefric's Life of Saint Eustace, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the works of Chaucer. Within continental European literature, she discusses Aucassin and Nicolete, Chrétien de Troyes' Erec, Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan, the Nibelungenlied, and Wolfram von Eschenbach's works. She concludes with a scrutiny of newly recovered or little-known narratives of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Originally published in 1974, The Stag of Love brings to life a theme of perennial interest to medievalists, and to all readers intrigued by the imaginative treatment of love in the Western world.

 The contemporary and personal friend of Geoffrey Chaucer, the English poet John Gower produced works in the tradition of courtly love and moral allegory.  ‘Confessio Amantis’, Gower’s greatest English poem, is a collection of exemplary tales of love, whereby Venus’ priest, Genius, instructs the poet, Amans, in the art of both courtly and Christian love. The stories derive from classical and medieval sources and are told with a tender, restrained narrative style. The Delphi Poets Series offers readers the works of literature's finest poets, with superior formatting. This volume presents Gower’s complete English works, with related illustrations and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 1)

* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Gower's life and works

* Concise introduction to Gower’s life and poetry

* Images of how the poetry books were first printed, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts

* Excellent formatting of the poems

* Easily locate the poems you want to read

* Includes G. C. Macaulay’s 1901 text of ‘Confessio Amantis’, with line numbers

* Macaulay’s seminal biography - discover Gower's medieval world

Please visit to see our wide range of poet titles


The Life and Poetry of John Gower

Brief Introduction: John Gower by Sidney Lee

Confessio Amantis

To King Henry IV: In Praise of Piece

The Biography

Life of Gower by G. C. Macaulay

Please visit to browse through our range of poetry titles or buy the entire Delphi Poets Series as a Super Set

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