Writers of the Reign of Henry II: Twelve Essays
Ruth Kennedy, Simon Meecham-Jones
Palgrave Macmillan, May 13, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 288 pages
This collection is the work of scholars on Middle English, Insular French and Medieval Latin writings of the late twelfth century in England and its possessions, when an English-speaking populace was ruled by a French-speaking aristocracy and administered by a Latin-speaking and writing clergy. The political discourses of Henry's reign are acknowledged, developed and ironised within the first real flowering of so many vernacular genres, romance and history in particular. The energetic and intrepid writers of this period are examined in relation to the development of social institutions and emergent ideas of 'nationhood', as the literature of Henry's court is shown to act as an echo-chamber within which anxieties about the proper exercise of power in a legal order founded on martial conquest could be reflected and soothed.
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