The Monstrous Middle Ages / Edition 2

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Overview

The figure of the monster in medieval culture functions as a vehicle for a range of intellectual and spiritual inquiries, from questions of language and representation to issues of moral, theological, and cultural value. Monstrosity is bound up with questions of body image and deformity, nature and knowledge, hybridity and horror. To explore a culture's attitudes to the monstrous is to comprehend one of its most important symbolic tools.

The Monstrous Middle Ages looks at both the representation of literal monsters and the consumption and exploitation of monstrous metaphors in a wide variety of high and late-medieval cultural productions, from travel writings and mystical texts to sermons, manuscript illuminations and maps. Individual essays explore the ways in which monstrosity shaped the construction of gender and sexual identity, religious symbolism, and social prejudice in the Middle Ages.

Reading the Middle Ages through its monsters provides an opportunity to view medieval culture from fresh perspectives. The Monstrous Middle Ages will be essential reading for anyone interested in the concept of monstrosity and its significance for both medieval cultural production and contemporary critical practice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802086679
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Bettina Bildhauer is a research fellow in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.

Robert Mills is a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at King's College London.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii
Acknowledgements ix
Notes on Contributors xi
Abbreviations xiv
1. Introduction: Conceptualizing the Monstrous 1
2. Jesus as Monster 28
3. Monstrous Masculinities in Julian of Norwich's A Revelation of Love and The Book of Margery Kempe 55
4. Blood, Jews and Monsters in Medieval Culture 75
5. The Other Close at Hand: Gerald of Wales and the 'Marvels of the West' 97
6. Idols and Simulacra: Paganity, Hybridity and Representation in Mandeville's Travels 113
7. Demonizing the Night in Medieval Europe: A Temporal Monstrosity? 134
8. Apocalyptic Monsters: Animal Inspirations for the Iconography of Medieval North European Devourers 155
9. Hell on Earth: Encountering Devils in the Medieval Landscape 177
10. Encountering the Monstrous: Saints and Dragons in Medieval Thought 196
Further Reading 219
Index 227
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