In this book, Heather McAlpine argues that emblematic strategies play a more central role in Pre-Raphaelite poetics than has been acknowledged, and that reading Pre-Raphaelite works with an awareness of these strategies permits a new understanding of the movement’s engagements with ontology, religion, representation, and politics. The emblem is a discursive practice that promises to stabilize language in the face of doubt, making it especially interesting as a site of conflicting responses to Victorian crises of representation. Through analyses of works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, A.C. Swinburne, and William Morris,
Emblematic Strategies examines the Pre-Raphaelite movement’s common goal of conveying “truth” while highlighting differences in its adherents’ approaches to that task.
Emblems in the visual arts use motifs which have meanings, and in
Emblems in Scotland Michael Bath, leading authority on Renaissance emblem books, shows how such symbolic motifs address major historical issues of Anglo-Scottish relations, the Reformation of the Church and the Union of the Crowns. Emblems are enigmas, and successive chapters ask for instance: Why does a late-medieval rood-screen show a jester at the Crucifixion? Why did Elizabeth I send Mary Queen of Scots tapestries showing the power of women to build a feminist City of God? Why did a presbyterian minister of Stirling decorate his manse with hieroglyphics? And why in the twentieth-century did Ian Hamilton Finlay publish a collection of
Devotional Interaction in Medieval England and its Afterlives examines the interaction between medieval English worshippers and the material objects of their devotion. The volume also addresses the afterlives of objects and buildings in their temporal journeys from the Middle Ages to the present day. Written by the participants of a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded seminar held in York, U.K., in 2014, the chapters incorporate site-specific research with the insights of scholars of visual art, literature, music, liturgy, ritual, and church history. Interdisciplinarity is a central feature of this volume, which celebrates interactivity as a working method between its authors as much as a subject of inquiry.
Contributors are Lisa Colton, Elizabeth Dachowski, Angie Estes, Gregory Erickson, Jennifer M. Feltman, Elisa A. Foster
Laura D. Gelfand, Louise Hampson, Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger, Kathleen E. Kennedy, Heather S. Mitchell-Buck, Julia Perratore, Steven Rozenski, Carolyn Twomey, and Laura J. Whatley.
Communal Creativity in the Making of the ‘Beowulf’ Manuscript, Simon Thomson analyses details of scribal activity to tell a story about the project that preserved
Beowulf as one of a collective, if error-strewn, endeavour and arguing for a date in Cnut’s reign. He presents evidence for the use of more than three exemplars and at least two artists as well as two scribes, making this an intentional and creative re-presentation uniting literature religious and heroic, in poetry and in prose.
He goes on to set it in the broader context of manuscript production in late Anglo-Saxon England as one example among many of communities using old literature in new ways, and of scribes working together, making mistakes, and learning.