Narrating the Crusades

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

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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 C÷ur 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 more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139899627
  • 9781139899628

About Lee Manion

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).show more

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. An anti-national Richard C÷ur 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; more

Review quote

'... 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 Studiesshow more