Edited by Jill Mann and Maura Nolan
“These excellent essays discuss a wide range of literary and art historical topics covering the full chronological span of the medieval period.” —Louis Jordan, University of Notre Dame
The Text in the Community brings together essays by a diverse group of medievalists to consider the multiple ways in which readers approach texts and manuscripts as part of “communities” of readers, authors, scribes, and scholars. The central premise of this volume is that texts do not exist in isolation. Each written work is embedded in contexts—literary, historical, geographical, social, political, and religious—and derives its meaning in part from the intersection of those contexts in the reader’s experience of the text.
This collection is distinguished by a range of approaches to the study of medieval texts and manuscripts and by the capacious time frame in which they are located, extending from the Anglo-Saxon period to the fifteenth century. Contributors demonstrate ways in which the insights gained from careful attention to the material as well as verbal dimensions of medieval texts can extend and complicate our notions of the literary tradition, medieval reading practices and audiences, and modes of composition.
Contributors: Maura Nolan, Michael Lapidge, Jill Mann, Andy Orchard, A. S. G. Edwards, Vincent Gillespie, Jessica Brantley, Maureen Bolton, and Dianne Phillips.
“The essays demonstrate most effectively how shifting the focus from isolated text to communal text can not only add to our knowledge of the complex web of relationships operating between books and their contexts, but also prompt us to re-evaluate previously accepted interpretations of the canon.” — Modern Language Review
“The collection is handsomely illustrated, carefully edited, and written with verve.” — Journal of English and Germanic Philology
“. . . The research . . . is valuable for literary and intellectual history, and for art history. The new findings on major works of Old English poetry are remarkable.” — Sixteenth Century Journal