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Narrating the Crusades
Loss and Recovery in Medieval and Early Modern English Literature

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Author: Lee Manion, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107664715

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About the Authors
  • In Narrating the Crusades, Lee Manion examines crusading's narrative-generating power as it is reflected in English literature from c.1300 to 1604. By synthesizing key features of crusade discourse into one paradigm, this book identifies and analyzes the kinds of stories crusading produced in England, uncovering new evidence for literary and historical research as well as genre studies. Surveying medieval romances including Richard Cœur de Lion, Sir Isumbras, Octavian, and The Sowdone of Babylone alongside historical practices, chronicles, and treatises, this study shows how different forms of crusading literature address cultural concerns about collective and private action. These insights extend to early modern writing, including Spenser's Faerie Queene, Marlowe's Tamburlaine, and Shakespeare's Othello, providing a richer understanding of how crusading's narrative shaped the beginning of the modern era. This first full-length examination of English crusading literature will be an essential resource for the study of crusading in literary and historical contexts.

    • A wide-ranging study showing the continued engagement with the crusades from medieval romances through to Shakespeare
    • Demonstrates the importance of individual or private crusading (in addition to large-scale warfare) in English literature and crusading thought
    • Proposes a new, formal set of family features for categorizing the genre of the English crusading romance, including the narrative structure of loss and recovery
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a timely, impressively argued, and carefully researched intervention in the field. … Narrating the Crusades is an immaculately organized and interconnected argument that engaged a wide variety of texts, draws compelling parallels between historical and literary works, and demonstrates both the necessity - and benefit - of an interdisciplinary approach to the crusading romance subgenre. Balancing previous scholarly treatments while calling for changes in perspective and method, Manion provides a model for insightful intervention.' Leila K. Norako, Journal of British Studies

    'Lee Manion provides a valuable study of the evolution and impact of English crusading literature on English society during the period from ca.1300 to 1604 … Manion has succeeded in providing a thoughtful and careful consideration of these issues that will be of use to scholars in the fields of both history and literature, particularly for those who consider the cultural implications of the evolution of crusading in England from the medieval to early modern period.' Andrew Holt, Renaissance Quarterly

    'Manion's key interventions are twofold: a rearticulation of the 'subgenre' of Middle English romance commonly referred to as 'crusading romance', and the demonstration that the long history of crusading ideology troubles our traditional period boundaries between medieval and early modern … Narrating the Crusades is a book that will be of great interest to both scholars of romance and crusade historians.' Heather Blurton, Speculum

    'Of obvious interest to historians and literary scholars, medievalists and early modernists, Manion's book demonstrates the value of using literary texts, and especially romance, in the study of the crusades, and of viewing the crusades as a fruitful context for cultural production … Overall, Narrating the Crusades demonstrates the topical potential of the romance, a genre whose utility is often seen to lie in its entertainment value.' Mimi Ensley, Studies in the Age of Chaucer

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107664715
    • length: 322 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 151 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. An anti-national Richard Cœur de Lion: associational forms and the English crusading romance
    2. Sir Isumbras's '[p]rivy' recovery: individual crusading in the fourteenth century
    3. Fictions of recovery in later English crusading romances: Octavian and The Sowdone of Babylone
    4. Re-figuring Catholic and Turk: early modern literatures of crusading and the end of the crusading romance
    Conclusion
    Bibliography.

  • Author

    Lee Manion, University of Missouri, Columbia
    Lee Manion is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He is author of 'The Loss of the Holy Land and Sir Isumbras: Literary Contributions to Fourteenth-Century Crusade Discourse', Speculum 85.1 (2010) and 'Sovereign Recognition: Contesting Political Claims in the Alliterative Morte Arthure and The Awntyrs off Arthure', Law and Sovereignty in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, edited by Robert S. Sturges (2011).

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