Reading in the Wilderness: Private Devotion and Public Performance in Late Medieval England [NOOK Book]

Overview

Just as twenty-first-century technologies like blogs and wikis have transformed the once private act of reading into a public enterprise, devotional reading experiences in the Middle Ages were dependent upon an oscillation between the solitary and the communal. In Reading in the Wilderness, Jessica Brantley uses tools from both literary criticism and art history to illuminate Additional MS 37049, an illustrated Carthusian miscellany housed in the British Library. This revealing artifact, Brantley argues, closes ...
See more details below
Reading in the Wilderness: Private Devotion and Public Performance in Late Medieval England

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$24.49
BN.com price
(Save 38%)$40.00 List Price

Overview

Just as twenty-first-century technologies like blogs and wikis have transformed the once private act of reading into a public enterprise, devotional reading experiences in the Middle Ages were dependent upon an oscillation between the solitary and the communal. In Reading in the Wilderness, Jessica Brantley uses tools from both literary criticism and art history to illuminate Additional MS 37049, an illustrated Carthusian miscellany housed in the British Library. This revealing artifact, Brantley argues, closes the gap between group spectatorship and private study in late medieval England.

Drawing on the work of W. J. T. Mitchell, Michael Camille, and others working at the image-text crossroads, Reading in the Wilderness addresses the manuscript’s texts and illustrations to examine connections between reading and performance within the solitary monk’s cell and also outside. Brantley reimagines the medieval codex as a site where the meanings of images and words are performed, both publicly and privately, in the act of reading.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Comitatus
"[The author] puts forth a convincing case for the presence of theater in monastic reading, thus challenging the boundaries between public performance and private reading . . . and between verbal literature and visual image-texts, as visible forms of communication within the late medieval Carthusian charterhouse."-Kevin Teo, Comitatus

— Kevin Teo

Catholic Library World
"A work of high scholarship that brings to bear a novel form of analysis to a medieval monastic illuminated text."-Herman A. Peterson, Catholic Library World

— Herman A. Peterson

Renaissance Quarterly
"In the context of the study of this odd and oddly compelling manuscript Brantley's reading is interesting and provocative."-Martha W. Driver, Renaissance Quarterly

— Martha W. Driver

Clio
"Brantley''s loving and learned attention, lavished on this ''one small and roughly made book,'' exemplifies the kind of careful, empathetic reading of a single medieval artifact that can open up an entire horizon of cultural understanding. I recommend it highly."

— Ann W. Astell

Medieval Institute Publications
"Ranging widely from genre to metaphor and motif, from the layout of stanzas and rhyme braces to the structure of allegorical trees, [the author''s] expertise as a literary critic is evident at every point. She is equally astute with images."-Ann Eljenholm Nichols, Medieval Institute Publications

— Ann Eljenholm Nichols

Medieval Review
"This is an impressive book that should be required reading for those working on late-medieval religious culture, Middle English devotional writing, early English drama and performance studies, and the relationship between images and texts. . . . Finally, Reading in the Wilderness is a beautiful book. With eight full color plates and over a hundred black and white images of the manuscript and analogues, it offers the reader visual as well as textual pleasure."-Shannon Gayk, Medieval Review

— Shannon Gayk

Jeffrey F. Hamburger

“Jessica Brantley’s Reading in the Wilderness is an impressive, thorough, and thoughtful analysis of one of the most important of all fifteenth-century English manuscripts.  In addition to providing a much-needed discussion of a densely illustrated compendium, the book provides a good general discussion of Carthusian patronage of the arts and attitudes towards the visual arts, which has long represented a lacuna in the literature.”

Richard K. Emmerson

“At long last—an in-depth study of the Carthusian Miscellany! Instead of mining the surface of this fascinating manuscript for the occasional visual nugget to illustrate late medieval devotional practices, Jessica Brantley digs deep to illuminate the manuscript itself, significantly extending previous work by art historians, Middle English editors, and students of fifteenth-century religion by focusing on its performative nature and highlighting its theatricality.”
Paul Strohm

“Jessica Brantley persuasively describes a prevalent medieval practice of performative private reading. Moving beyond previous theories of reception, she analyzes manuscript illustrations as action-seeking cues to the devout or meditative reader. Finding apparently solitary reading experience 'quickened' at every point by its relation to public and communal experience, she stages a vigorous challenge to simplified notions of individuality and community in the later middle ages.”
Comitatus - Kevin Teo

"[The author] puts forth a convincing case for the presence of theater in monastic reading, thus challenging the boundaries between public performance and private reading . . . and between verbal literature and visual image-texts, as visible forms of communication within the late medieval Carthusian charterhouse."
Catholic Library World - Herman A. Peterson

"A work of high scholarship that brings to bear a novel form of analysis to a medieval monastic illuminated text."
Renaissance Quarterly - Martha W. Driver

“In the context of the study of this odd and oddly compelling manuscript Brantley’s reading is interesting and provocative.”
Clio - Ann W. Astell

"Brantley's loving and learned attention, lavished on this 'one small and roughly made book,' exemplifies the kind of careful, empathetic reading of a single medieval artifact that can open up an entire horizon of cultural understanding. I recommend it highly."
Medieval Institute Publications - Ann Eljenholm Nichols

"Ranging widely from genre to metaphor and motif, from the layout of stanzas and rhyme braces to the structure of allegorical trees, [the author's] expertise as a literary critic is evident at every point. She is equally astute with images."
Medieval Review - Shannon Gayk

"This is an impressive book that should be required reading for those working on late-medieval religious culture, Middle English devotional writing, early English drama and performance studies, and the relationship between images and texts. . . . Finally, Reading in the Wilderness is a beautiful book. With eight full color plates and over a hundred black and white images of the manuscript and analogues, it offers the reader visual as well as textual pleasure."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226071343
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 344
  • File size: 25 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Jessica Brantley is associate professor of English at Yale University.    
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations 
List of Abbreviations 
Acknowledgments 

1. Introduction: The Performance of Reading

2. “Silence Visible”: Carthusian Devotional Reading and Meditative Practice 
    Backgrounds: The Carthusian Order 
    Carthusians and Books 
    Carthusians and Art 

3. The Shapes of Eremitic Reading in the Desert of Religion 
    The Desert of Religion as Imagetext 
    “Als Wildernes Is Wroght þis Boke”: Formats of Monastic Books 
    Reading Spiritual Community in the Wilderness 

4. Lyric Imaginings and Painted Prayers 
    The Eremitic Lyric and Richard Rolle 
    Imagining the Carthusian Reader 

5. Liturgical Pageantry in Private Spaces 
    Reading the Liturgy: Two Models 
    Performing the Holy Name 
    Performing the Canonical Hours 
    Performing the Seven Sacraments 

6. Envisioning Dialogue in Performance 
    “In Maner of a Dyaloge It Wente” 
    Allegorical Dialogues: The Pylgremage of the Sowle 
    Mystical Dialogues: The Tretyse of þe Seven Poyntes of Trewe Love and Everlastynge Wisdame 

7. Dramatizing the Cell: Theatrical Performances in Monastic Reading 
    Dramatic Texts, Lyric Voices, and Private Readers 
    Theatrical Reading in Additional 3749 
    Monastic Closet Drama 

8. Conclusion: Reading Performances 
Appendix: Contents of British Library MS Additional 3749 
Notes  
Bibliography 
Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)