Category Archives: Medieval Literature

Kindle Edition now available for The Court in English Alliterative Poetry

The Court in English Alliterative Poetry, 1350-1450

Unfortunately no preview available for the Kindle version!

Here’s the synopsis though in case you’re interested:

My thesis aims to explore certain links between literature and society in the portrayal of courtly society in a group of alliterative texts: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Awntyrs off Arthure at the Terne Wathelyn, Morte Arthure, Wars of Alexander and the Gest Historiale of the Destruction of Troy. The thesis will look at the social function of the texts and how they affect their audience. I will suggest that the particular style and content of the poems encourages aspiration to a material courtly culture and that they also give moral instruction on how to live nobly. I will suggest that the audience for these poems consists of provincial gentry and lower nobility, not overly familiar with the ways of the royal court, and so in need of instruction into the ways of courtly culture. Therefore these poems have been written in a way which is specially adapted to the social needs of their audience.

In the introduction I will outline the development of the court in the late Middle Ages, the possible audience for the poems and the descriptive style of alliterative verse. In chapter one I will look at descriptions of personal appearance and clothes in the poems and how these descriptions are both materially aspirational and morally instructive. In chapter two I will examine how the different types of court buildings in the poems convey particular ideas about the nature of the court. Chapter three consists of a discussion of the ideal feast which was bacsed on opulence, but also moderation. In chapter four I will look at how the poems conveyed the political aspirations of the gentry and provincial nobility in regard to their king.

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The Court in English Alliterative Poetry – added text of my M.Phil. thesis

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As far as I know my thesis, which I completed over 10 years ago at the University of Birmingham, has probably been gathering a lot of dust in the library with no contact with anyone from the outside world.

I thought it might be nice to share the content. As I say it’s over 10 years old so there are no doubt more sources and secondary material now available, and hopefully my writing has improved a bit since then, but I think there’s some half decent scholarship worth reading there as well.

The Court in English Alliterative Poetry, 1350-1450 by Mark Lord

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Dante’s De Vulgari Eloquentia

Been awhile since I have posted unfortunately due to illness over the last week or so. Progress on the writing has therefore been very slow. However, I did manage to read through Dante’s De Vulgari Eloquentia. Quite useful on his opinion of Frederick’s court and also all the differences in dialects in Italy, plus an examination of the canzone form.

I might be slowing down the current research on the Stupor Mundi project, doing bits and pieces when I can, but mainly I will be concentrating on a top secret self-publishing venture over the next few weeks. I am hoping that this won’t take too long out of my writing career, but also I’m hopeful that it might make a little bit of money too!