Insular Romance: Politics, Faith, and Culture in Anglo-Norman and Middle English Literature

Crane, Susan

Many of Britain’s best known romances, such as the stories of Tristan, King Horn, Havelok, Guy of Warwick, and Bevis of Hampton, were first recorded in Anglo-Norman verse and later revised into Middle English versions. Setting these English and French texts in conversation with one another illuminates the impact of the Norman Conquest on Britain's linguistic, literary, and social history. These romances form a distinctively "insular" body of works, closely related to one another and to their situation in England. Chapters 1 and 2: Romances of English heroes assess the political ideas sustaining the shift from feudal toward national organization. Chapter 3: Pious romances counter the church's vision of irreconcilable opposition between worldly ambitions and devotion to God. Chapters 4 and 5: Romances concerned with courtliness question the hermetic elevation and spiritual refinement of conventional “courtoisie.”


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More About This Work

Academic Units
English and Comparative Literature
University of California Press
Published Here
November 10, 2016