The English Romance in Time
Transforming Motifs from Geoffrey of Monmouth to the Death of Shakespeare
By (author) Helen Cooper
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English Romance in Time by Helen Cooper
Book DescriptionThis book is a study of English romance across the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It explores romance motifs - quests and fairy mistresses, passionate heroines and rudderless boats and missing heirs - from the first emergence of the genre in French and Anglo-Norman in the twelfth century down to the early seventeenth. This is a continuous story, since the same romances that constituted the largest and most sophisticated body of secular fiction in the Middle Ages went on to enjoy a new and vibrant popularity at all social levels in black-letter prints as the pulp fiction of the Tudor age. This embedded culture was reworked for political and Reformation propaganda and for the 'writing of England', as well as providing a generous reservoir of good stories and dramatic plots. The different ways in which the same texts were read over several centuries, or the same motifs shifted meaning as understanding and usage altered, provide a revealing and sensitive measure of historical and cultural change. The book accordingly looks at those processes of change as well as at how the motifs themselves work, to offer a historical semantics of the language of romance conventions. It also looks at how politics and romance intersect - the point where romance comes true. The historicizing of the study of literature is belatedly leading to a wider recognition that the early modern world is built on medieval foundations. This book explores both the foundations and the building. Similarly, generic theory, which previously tended to operate on transhistorical assumptions, is now acknowledging that genre interacts crucially with cultural context - with changing audiences and ideologies and means of dissemination. The generation into which Spenser and Shakespeare were born was the last to be brought up on a wide range of medieval romances in their original forms, and they could therefore exploit their generic codings in new texts aimed at both elite and popular audiences. Romance may since then have lost much of its cultural centrality, but the universal appeal of these same stories has continued to fuel later works from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress to C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199248865
(224mm x 148mm x 34mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 17-Jun-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Helen Cooper
Where's Your Argument?, Paperback (July 2016)
This concise guide shows you how to develop convincing academic arguments and create an effective personal style for presenting them. From planning a logical structure to conveying your ideas in precise language, this book takes you through every stage of assignment writing with the argument firmly in focus.
Villette, Hardback (February 2016)
With neither friends nor family, Lucy Snowe sets sail from England to find employment in a girls' boarding school in the small town of Villette. There, she struggles to retain her self-possession in the face of unruly pupils, the hostility of headmistress Madame Beck, and her own complex feelings first for the school's English doctor and...
Medieval Shakespeare, Paperback (October 2015)
This book gives readers the opportunity to appreciate Shakespeare from the perspectives of the late-medieval European traditions that surrounded him.
Shakespeare And The Medieval World, Paperback (August 2012)» View all books by Helen Cooper
A unique study examining the influence of medieval culture, thinking and drama on Shakespeare's work, looking at his use of sources and the ways in which the traditions of medieval drama permeate his plays.
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