Constructing England in the Fourteenth Century A Postcolonial Interpretation of Middle English Romance

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Constructing England in the Fourteenth Century: A Postcolonial Interpretation of Middle English Romance by Helen Young and Geraldine Barnes
English | 2010 | ISBN: 077341293X , 0779903706 | 289 pages | PDF | 4,3 MB

This work explores how narratives aided in the construction of a national identity in England in the late Middle Ages. Throughout the Middle Ages England was the site of confluent cultures, English, Scandinavian, and Continental, and this study examines how social, cultural and political encounters, particularly in the centuries following the Norman Conquest, influenced constructions of Englishness.

This work explores representations of England and Englishness in fourteenth-century literature through a lens of modern postcolonial theory. It interrogates late medieval engagements with the past and examines how England's hybrid history of invasion was managed so that a unifying sense of Englishness could be produced in works as disparate as Athelston, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Wynnere and Wastoure, and Of Arthour and Merlin. The book argues that interest in valorising Englishness was not limited to works in Middle English with a discussion of the Anglo-Norman Guide Warewic and its translation Guy of Warwick. The work explores junctions and disjunctions between modern theories of, for example, hybridity and postcolonial approaches to history, and medieval thought and practice in order to shed new light on the complex social and cultural forces at play in the construction of national identity in England in the late Middle Ages.
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Tags: Interpretation, Middle, English, Romance

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