The Sea and Medieval English Literature
As the first cultural history of the sea in medieval English literature, this book traces premodern myths of insularity from their Old English beginnings to Shakespeare's Tempest. Beginning with a discussion of biblical, classical and pre-Conquest treatments of the sea, it investigates how such works as the Anglo-Norman Voyage of St Brendan, the Tristan romances, the chronicles of Matthew Paris, King Horn, Patience, The Book of Margery Kempe and The Libelle of Englyshe Polycye shape insular ideologies of Englishness. Whether it is Britain's privileged place in the geography of salvation or the political fiction of the idyllic island fortress, medieval English writers' myths of the sea betray their anxieties about their own insular identity; their texts call on maritime motifs to define England geographically and culturally against the presence of the sea. New insights from a range of fields, including jurisprudence, theology, the history of cartography and anthropology, are used to provide fresh readings of a wide range of both insular and continental writings. SEBASTIAN I. SOBECKI is Professor of Medieval English Literature and Culture, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
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abyss Adam of Bremen Anglo-Norman Anglo-Saxon Apollonius Benedeit's Beowulf Book Britain British Cambridge CCSL century Chapter Christ Christian Chronicle claim Conquest Corpus Iuris Civilis cultural Deus divine EETS England English literature English Romance Englyshe Polycye Fortunate Isles Fortune Genesis Geoffrey Geoffrey of Monmouth Gildas God's Gower's History Horn's immrama Insular Irish Sea Isidore island John Jonah kepe King Horn land and sea Legend Libelle of Englyshe lines literary londe mare Margery Margery Kempe Margery's maritime Mary Matthew Medieval Mediterranean Middle English monks Morholt myth narrative Navigatio Sancti Brendani Neptune Norman ocean Old English Oxford Paradise Paris passage passim Patience peregrinatio pro amore poem pre-modern repr sail Saint Saracens sea-voyage sea's Seafarer setting adrift Shakespeare ship shore spiritual storm sunt tale Tempest territorial waters Thomas Thomas of Britain topos tradition trans translation Tristan Tristrams saga Turnhout vols London Voyage whale writing Ysolt's