Objects of affection

The book and the household in late medieval England

By Myra Seaman

Objects of affection


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4381-5
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: March 2021
  • BIC Category: Literary studies: c 1400 to c 1600, Literary studies: ancient & classical, LITERARY CRITICISM / Books & Reading, HISTORY / Medieval, LITERARY CRITICISM / Medieval, Literature & literary studies / Literary theory, Humanities / Medieval history, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, Medieval Literature, Literature, European history: medieval period, middle ages, Ancient, classical & medieval texts
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture


Objects of affection recovers the emotional attraction of the medieval book through an engagement with a fifteenth-century literary collection known as Oxford, Bodleian Library Manuscript Ashmole 61. Exploring how the inhabitants of the book's pages - human and nonhuman, tangible and intangible - collaborate with its readers then and now, this book addresses the manuscript's material appeal in the ways it binds itself to different cultural, historical and material environments. In doing so it traces the affective literacy training that the manuscript provided its late-medieval English household, whose diverse inhabitants are incorporated into the ecology of the book itself as it fashions spiritually generous and socially mindful household members.


Introduction: objects, assemblages, affects, ecologies
1 Objects of instruction
2 Objects of mercy
3 Objects of correction
4 Testimonial objects
5 Objects of liberation
Epilogue: fishing for answers
Appendix: contents of Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Ashmole 61


Myra Seaman is Professor of English at the College of Charleston

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