1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Medieval English Literature

Edited By Raluca Radulescu, Sif Rikhardsdottir Copyright 2023
    500 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Companion to Medieval English Literature offers a new, inclusive, and comprehensive context to the study of medieval literature written in the English language from the Norman Conquest to the end of the Middle Ages. Utilising a Trans-European context, this volume includes essays from leading academics in the field across linguistic and geographic divides. Extending beyond the traditional scholarly discussions of insularity in relation to Middle English literature and ‘isolationism’, this volume:

    • Oversees a variety of genres and topics, including cultural identity, insular borders, linguistic interactions, literary gateways, Middle English texts and traditions, and modern interpretations such as race, gender studies, ecocriticism, and postcolonialism.
    • Draws on the combined extensive experience of teaching and research in medieval English and comparative literature within and outside of anglophone higher education and looks to the future of this fast-paced area of literary culture.
    • Contains an indispensable section on theoretical approaches to the study of literary texts. 

    This Companion provides the reader with practical insights into the methods and approaches that can be applied to medieval literature and serves as an important reference work for upper-level students and researchers working on English literature.

    General Introduction: Medieval English Literature in Trans-European and Global Contexts

    Raluca Radulescu and Sif Rikhardsdottir

    PART I: The Forms of Literature: Introduction

    Raluca Radulescu and Sif Rikhardsdottir

    1. Orality, Vocality, and Textuality
    2. Karl Reichl

    3. Vernacularity
    4. Wendy Scase

    5. Books and Materiality
    6. J. R. Mattison and Alexandra Gillespie

    7. Form and Genre
    8. Julie Orlemanski

      PART II: Insular Borders, Linguistic Interactions: Introduction

      Raluca Radulescu

    9. Middle Welsh
    10. Helen Fulton

    11. Irish
    12. Aisling Byrne

    13. Scots
    14. Caitlin Flynn

    15. Multilingualism
    16. Ad Putter

      PART III: Literary Gateways: Introduction

      Sif Rikhardsdottir

    17. ‘Travel’ of the Mind via Study: translatio studii et imperii
    18. Elizaveta Strakhov

    19. ‘Travel’ of the Soul via Religiosity: Imaginary and Actual Pilgrimages
    20. Ryan Perry

    21. French-Speaking Courts and Literary Dominance in Europe
    22. Keith Busby

    23. The Norman Rule
    24. Laura Ashe

    25. The Venetian Gateway: Commerce, Plague, Oriental Motifs
    26. Sif Rikhardsdottir

    27. Origination and Mediation: Sicily
    28. David Wallace

    29. Islamic Pathways and Imaginary Borders
    30. Shirin Khanmohamadi

    31. Mercantile Networks
    32. Craig E. Bertolet

    33. Maps and the Medieval World at Large
    34. Matthew Boyd Goldie

      PART IV: Middle English Texts and Traditions: Introduction

      Raluca Radulescu

    35. The Endurance of Early English Literary Traditions
    36. Orietta Da Rold

    37. Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Chronicle Tradition
    38. Jaclyn Rajsic

    39. Marie de France and Middle English Romance
    40. Cory James Rushton

    41. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Alliterative Tradition
    42. Lawrence Warner

    43. Geoffrey Chaucer
    44. Marion Turner

    45. John Gower
    46. Siân Echard

    47. William Langland: European Poet?

    48. Marco Nievergelt

    49. Hoccleve and Lydgate: Transnationalism and Tradition
    50. Sebastian J. Langdell

    51. Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, and Female Spirituality
    52. Laura Kalas

    53. The Middle English Lyrics in Their European Context

      Christiania Whitehead
    54. Medieval English Drama and Performance
    55. Charlotte Steenbrugge

    56. Thomas Malory
    57. Raluca Radulescu

    58. Hagiography
    59. Karen A. Winstead

      PART V: The Modern Middle Ages: Introduction

      Sif Rikhardsdottir

    60. Emotion
    61. Andrew Lynch

    62. Race
    63. Wan-Chuan Kao

    64. Gender/Queer

      Laura Saetveit Miles and Samantha Katz Seal
    65. Postcolonialism
    66. Patricia Clare Ingham and Abby Ang

    67. Ecocriticism
    68. Michael J. Warren

    69. Human/Animal
    70. Karl Steel

    71. Medievalism
    72. David Matthews


    Raluca Radulescu is Professor of Medieval English Literature and Director of the Centre for Arthurian Studies at Bangor University, Wales, UK. She is currently the elected Vice-President of the International Arthurian Society. Her research and publications focus on all aspects of medieval literature and studies, particularly on Arthurian and non-Arthurian romance, Thomas Malory, gentry studies, chronicles (including the Middle English Brut and genealogies) and manuscript culture. She has published two monographs (2003 and 2013) and eleven collections of co-edited essays, among them Insular Books: Vernacular Manuscript Miscellanies in Medieval Britain (2015), co-ed. with Margaret Connolly. She is currently writing a book on the Middle English Prose Brut and co-editing, with Andrew Lynch, the Cambridge History of Arthurian Literature and Culture (CHALC) in 2 volumes.

    Sif Rikhardsdottir is Professor and Chair of Comparative Literature at the University of Iceland and Head of the Institute of Research in Literature and Visual Arts. She works on cross-cultural transmission and literary histories, comparative literary theory, gender, literary emotions, and voice in medieval European literature. Her publications include Medieval Translations and Cultural Discourse: The Movement of Texts in England, France and Scandinavia (2012); Emotion in Old Norse: Translations, Voices, Contexts (2017); and most recently the Critical Companion to Old Norse Literary Genre (2019), co-edited with Carolyne Larrington and Massimiliano Bampi. Her co-edited volume Medieval Literary Voices: Embodiment, Materiality and Performance (with Louise D’Arcens) is forthcoming. She has held Visiting Fellowships or Professorships at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and St John’s College, University of Oxford.