5ABA0004 The Medieval Book
Credit value: 15
Module convenor: Professor Julia Crick
Assessment: 1 x 4000 word essay (100%); coursework reassessment in exam period 3
Teaching pattern: One 2-hour seminar weekly
The course examines the ways in which later medieval texts were made, circulated, and used, analysing how the circumstances of production and distribution help us to understand the literature and literary culture of England in the period. Bilingualism and trilingualism characterized the writing of the high Middle Ages, when French, German, and a variety of other languages joined English and Irish as written European vernaculars, and when writers and texts moved with apparent ease between Latin and one or more vernacular languages. The course explores literacy and education, the nature of textual communities and the circulation of texts, and readers and reception. We will look at a series of influential genres, a number of which crossed political, social and linguistic boundaries, and finally consider how they fared after the end of the Middle Ages, in the culture of print. All the texts discussed in class will be accessed in modern English translation.
The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, vol II, 1100-1400, ed. Nigel J. Morgan and Rodney M. Thomson (2008)
The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature, ed. David Wallace (2008)