The Romance of the Middle Ages

From Tolkien Gateway
The Romance of the Middle Ages
Publication Information
AuthorNicholas Perkins, Alison Wiggins
PublisherBodleian Library Publishing
Released1 February 2012
FormatPaperback (250x184x14 mm)

The Romance of the Middle Ages is an exhibition book from the Bodleian Library, featuring 70 colour illustrations. The book reproduces a manuscript page from The Two Towers and a page from C.S. Lewis's copy of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, edited by Tolkien and E.V. Gordon.

From the publisher

From King Arthur and the Round Table to Alexander the Great's global conquests and encounters with fire-breathing dragons, the stories of romance appear in some of the most beautiful books of the Middle Ages, and still resonate today. This book provides an engaging, scholarly, and richly illustrated guide to medieval romance and its continuing influence on literature and art. Romance's conjunctions of chivalric violence, love, sex, and piety, and its openness to the miraculous, monstrous or bizarre mark it out as the most fertile narrative form of the Western Middle Ages. This book examines the development of romance as a literary genre, its place in medieval culture, and the scribes and readers who copied, owned, and commented on romance books, from magnificent illuminated manuscripts to personal notebooks and chance survivals. It also explores the complex anatomy of human desire in romance, as portrayed by writers including Dante, Chaucer, and Thomas Malory. Medieval romance was hugely popular after the Middle Ages. Shakespeare, Spenser, and Walter Scott imbibed its motifs, Mark Twain parodied them, and the Pre-Raphaelites based an aesthetic movement around them. The Romance of the Middle Ages traces the influence of the genre to the twentieth century and beyond, encompassing the stories of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling, the Jedi knights of Star Wars and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Nicholas Perkins is Fellow and Tutor in English at St Hugh's College and University Lecturer in Medieval English, University of Oxford. Alison Wiggins is Senior Lecturer in English Language at the University of Glasgow.[1]