In Strange Countries: Middle English Literature and its Afterlife

Essays in memory of J. J. Anderson

Edited by David Matthews

In Strange Countries: Middle English Literature and its Afterlife

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8450-8
  • Pages: 192
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: December 2010
  • BIC Category: Medieval Literature, Literature, Literature: history & criticism, HISTORY / Medieval, Literary studies: ancient & classical, LITERARY CRITICISM / Medieval, Humanities / Medieval history, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: classical, early & medieval
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture


These essays by senior scholars in medieval studies celebrate the career of J.J. Anderson, editor, critic, and co-founder of the Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture series, who taught in medieval studies at the University of Manchester for forty years.

The essays are rooted in medieval literature but frequently range beyond the confines of the Middle Ages. They reflect the breadth of Anderson's own scholarly interests, especially in drama and Arthurian literature. There is a particular focus on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Pearl, poems which preoccupied him throughout his scholarly life. There are also new reconsiderations of La?amon's Brut, Mirk's Festial, the Passion plays, and the manuscripts of the Pore Caitif. Moving beyond the traditional purview of medieval literature, several contributors trace the afterlives of medieval themes in later literature. These essays include a consideration of the twinned trajectories of the medieval heroes Robin Hood and King Arthur from medieval literature to modern television, a comparison of La?amon's Brut and Tennyson's Idylls of the King, and a recreation of the Bishop Blase procession which took place in industrial Bradford.

Contributors are Rosamund Allen, Ralph Elliott, Alexandra Johnston, Stephen Knight, Peter Meredith, Susan Powell, Gillian Rudd, Alan Shelston, and Kalpen Trivedi.


A collection of fine scholarly essays and also an intensely personal tribute to a much-admired scholar ... This excellent collection of essays both celebrates and demonstrates the network of scholarship that has given us a continually renewed understanding of medieval texts and their afterlife.'

Graham Tulloch, Parergon - Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, volume 29.2 (2012).

Readers of In Strange Countries will value it differently depending on their points of invested
contact with individual chapters. The best of these reach an unimpeachable standard
of scholarship and will influence specialist conversation in their fields.


David Matthews and Anke Bernau
1. Robin Hood versus King Arthur: Stephen Knight
2. The Green Knight's balancing act: Gillian Rudd
3. Recasting a role: Brutus in La?amon's Brut: Carole Weinberg
4. 'Broad spears broke, shields clashed, men fell': How La?amon and Tennyson deal with the problem of combat: Rosamund Allen
5. 'For ho is quene of cortaysye': The assumption of the virgin in Pearl and the Festial: Susan Powell
6. Making yourself 'þer present': Nicholas Love and the plays of the passion: Alexandra F. Johnston
7. Reading a procession: Bishop Blase at Bradford: Peter Meredith
8. 'Trewe techyng and false heritikys': Some 'Lollard' manuscripts of the Pore Caitif: Kalpen Trivedi
9. A life's work: John Anderson and the Gawain-poet: Ralph Elliott
10. John Julian Anderson: a memoir: Alan Shelston


David Matthews is Lecturer in Medieval Literature and Culture at the University of Manchester

In Strange Countries: Middle English Literature and its Afterlife

Edited by David Matthews

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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