The Middle English popular romances enjoyed a wide appeal in later medieval Britain, and even today students of medieval literature will encounter examples of the genre, such as Sir Orfeo, Sir Tristrem, and Sir Launfal. This collection of twelve specially commissioned essays is designed to meet the need for a stimulating guide to the genre. Each essay introduces one popular romance, setting it in its literary and historical contexts, and develops an original interpretation that reveals the possibilities that popular romances offer for modern literary criticism. A substantial introduction by the editors discusses the production and transmission of popular romances in the Middle Ages, and considers the modern reception of popular romance and the interpretative challenges offered by new theoretical approaches.
Accessible to advanced students of English, this book is also of interest to those working in the field of medieval studies, comparative literature, and popular culture.
'…..these new essays offer varied and thoughtful approaches to a group of relatively little known romances, and are successful in demonstrating their interest for the literary critic as well as the historian or linguist.' Corinne Saunders, Notes and Queries. 'The book is worth recommending to students as an accessible starting point…' Christopher Dyer, University of Leicester 'The reading of the articles proves in itself to be an entertaining, aesthetically satisfying and scholarly redeeming act and whets the reader's appetitie for the original texts…' - Dr Thomas Honegger, Chair of Medieval Studies, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena.