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The New Middle Ages

Cultural Diversity in the British Middle Ages

Archipelago, Island, England

Authors: Cohen, J.

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About this book

Through close readings of both familiar and obscure medieval texts, the contributors to this volume attempt to read England as a singularly powerful entity within a vast geopolitical network. This capacious world can be glimpsed in the cultural flows connecting the Normans of Sicily with the rulers of England, or Chaucer with legends arriving from Bohemia. It can also be seen in surprising places in literature, as when green children are discovered in twelfth-century Yorkshire or when Welsh animals begin to speak of the long history of their land s colonization. The contributors to this volume seek moments of cultural admixture and heterogeneity within texts that have often been assumed to belong to a single, national canon, discovering moments when familiar and bounded space erupt into unexpected diversity and infinite realms.

About the authors

JEFFREY JEROME COHEN is Professor and Chair of English, The George Washington University, USA. 

Reviews

"The eleven essays brought together in this volume bring those neighboring realms into breath-taking focus by examining currents of cultural difference lapping onto the edges and sometimes percolating up into the middle of texts that ostensibly serve to delineate England as an always inevitable island unto itself...this collection will serve as an indispensable guide to future travelers in archipelago it so brilliantly reveals." - Journal of the Early Book Society

"This intriguing collection of essays sets out to trouble the myth of the English nation, calling into question the wholeness, autonomy, insularity, and inevitability of the political entity we now call the British Isles. Cohen s infinite realms project recasts the island (the symbol of totality and autonomy) as an archipelago (a symbol of fragmentation and interdependence) whose current political configuration can in no way simply be read back into the past. The essays, on texts both familiar and arcane, not only invite us to rethink the textual canons of Great Britain s four main ethnic groups, but more radically to interrogate the fictiveness of political identity itself. This is not just another collection touting cultural diversity among hypostasized identities; these essays invite us to reimagine political collectivities, rethinking the ways in which they encounter one another, clash, assimilate, and reform around new identities." - Laurie A. Finke, Kenyon College and co-author of King Arthur and the Myth of History


Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)
  • Introduction: Infinite Realms

    Pages 1-16

    Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome

  • Between Diaspora and Conquest: Norman Assimilation in Petrus Alfonsi’s Disciplina Clericalis and Marie de France’s Fables

    Pages 17-37

    Akbari, Suzanne Conklin

  • Reliquia: Writing Relics in Anglo-Norman Durham

    Pages 39-56

    Blurton, Heather

  • Cultural Difference and the Meaning of Latinity in Asser’s Life of King Alfred

    Pages 57-73

    Townsend, David

  • Green Children from Another World, or the Archipelago in England

    Pages 75-94

    Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-230-61412-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-230-60326-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-349-37158-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Cultural Diversity in the British Middle Ages
Book Subtitle
Archipelago, Island, England
Authors
Series Title
The New Middle Ages
Copyright
2008
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-61412-3
DOI
10.1057/9780230614123
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-60326-4
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-37158-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 240
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics

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