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Middle English Mouths
Late Medieval Medical, Religious and Literary Traditions

NZD$147.95 inc GST

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Date Published: June 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108426619

NZD$ 147.95 inc GST
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  • The mouth, responsible for both physical and spiritual functions - eating, drinking, breathing, praying and confessing - was of immediate importance to medieval thinking about the nature of the human being. Where scholars have traditionally focused on the mouth's grotesque excesses, Katie L. Walter argues for the recuperation of its material 'everyday' aspect. Walter's original study draws on two rich archives: one comprising Middle English theology (Langland, Julian of Norwich, Lydgate, Chaucer) and pastoral writings; the other broadly medical and surgical, including learned encyclopaedias and vernacular translations and treatises. Challenging several critical orthodoxies about the centrality of sight, the hierarchy of the senses and the separation of religious from medical discourses, the book reveals the centrality of the mouth, taste and touch to human modes of knowing and to Christian identity.

    • The first full length monograph study of the centrality of the mouth to Middle English thought
    • Focuses on the 'everyday' body rather than the extreme or grotesque
    • Offers new readings of canonical Middle English writers including Geoffrey Chaucer and Julian of Norwich
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108426619
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Natural knowledge
    2. The reading lesson
    3. Tasting, eating and knowing
    4. The epistemology of kissing
    5. Surgical habits.

  • Author

    Katie L. Walter, University of Sussex
    Katie L. Walter is Senior Lecturer in Medieval English Literature at the University of Sussex. She is the editor of Reading Skin in Medieval Literature and Culture (2013), The Culture of Inquisition in Medieval England (with Mary Flannery, 2013), and a special issue of Textual Practice on 'Prosthesis in Medieval and Early Modern Culture' (with Chloe Porter and Margaret Healy, 2016). Dr Walter has published essays on the body, skin, flesh and the senses, as well as on medieval literary theories and reading practices.

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