1st Edition

Food and Feast in Premodern Outlaw Tales

Edited By Melissa Ridley Elmes, Kristin Bovaird-Abbo Copyright 2021
    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    In Food and Feast in Premodern Outlaw Tales editors Melissa Ridley Elmes and Kristin Bovaird-Abbo gather eleven original studies examining scenes of food and feasting in premodern outlaw texts ranging from the tenth through the seventeenth centuries and forward to their cinematic adaptations. Along with fresh insights into the popular Robin Hood legend, these essays investigate the intersections of outlawry, food studies, and feasting in Old English, Middle English, and French outlaw narratives, Anglo-Scottish border ballads, early modern ballads and dramatic works, and cinematic medievalism. The range of critical and disciplinary approaches employed, including history, literary studies, cultural studies, food studies, gender studies, and film studies, highlights the inherently interdisciplinary nature of outlaw narratives. The overall volume offers an example of the ways in which examining a subject through interdisciplinary, cross-geographic and cross-temporal lenses can yield fresh insights; places canonic and well-known works in conversation with lesser-known texts to showcase the dynamic nature and cultural influence and impact of premodern outlaw tales; and presents an introductory foray into the intersection of literary and food studies in premodern contexts which will be of value and interest to specialists and a general audience, alike.

    1. Introduction

    Melissa Ridley Elmes and Kristin Bovaird-Abbo

    2. Grendel’s Eucharist: An Outlaw’s Last Supper

    Eric Carlson

    3. The Social Contracts of "Mete and Drink" in The Tale of Gamelyn

    Renée Ward

    4. Bread without Onions: Winning the Crusades Through French Cuisine in Honoré Bovet’s 1398 The Apparition of Master Jean de Meun (L’Apparicion maistre Jean de Meun)

    Sylvia Grove

    5. Of Courtesy and Community: Food and Feasting in A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode

    Sherron Lux

    6. The Preparation and Consumption of Food as Signifiers of Class and Gender Identity in Select Premodern Texts and Examples of the Robin Hood Cinematic Canon

    Lorraine Kochanske Stock

    7. "So Shall We Take Our Dinner Sweet?": When the Greenwood Consumes the Outlaw

    Marybeth Ruether-Wu

    8. Robin Hood’s Poached Feasting in Context: Poor Knights, Disguised Kings, and Romance Parody in A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode

    Mark Truesdale

    9. The Poached Feast and the Kingly Blow: The Question of Courtesy in Late Medieval King-in-Disguise Narratives

    Melissa Winders and Sarah Harlan-Haughey

    10. Acting Out(law): Feasts, Outlawry, and Identity Constructions in Two Shakespearean Comedies

    Melissa Ridley Elmes

    11. Early Modern Fishing Practices and Seafood Culture in Robin Hood’s Fishing

    Jason Hogue

    12. "Bread with Danger Purchased": Hunger, Plenty and the Outlaw on the Early Modern Stage

    Matt Williamson


    Melissa Ridley Elmes is Assistant Professor of English at Lindenwood University. Her research engages the literatures and cultures of the premodern British Isles and North Atlantic world.

    Kristin Bovaird-Abbo is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Northern Colorado. She teaches and researches medieval language and literature, particularly Middle English and Arthurian studies, with a particular interest in the effects of gender and class on the Arthurian character of Gawain in late Middle English romances.