Sovereign Fantasies: Arthurian Romance and the Making of Britain

Overview

During and after the Hundred Years War, English rulers struggled with a host of dynastic difficulties, including problems of royal succession, volatile relations with their French cousins, and the consolidation of their colonial ambitions toward the areas of Wales and Scotland. Patricia Ingham brings these precarious historical positions to bear on readings of Arthurian literature in Sovereign Fantasies, a provocative work deeply engaged with postcolonial and gender theory.

...

See more details below
Hardcover
$66.99
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$75.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $56.24   
  • New (4) from $60.94   
  • Used (4) from $56.24   
Sending request ...

Overview

During and after the Hundred Years War, English rulers struggled with a host of dynastic difficulties, including problems of royal succession, volatile relations with their French cousins, and the consolidation of their colonial ambitions toward the areas of Wales and Scotland. Patricia Ingham brings these precarious historical positions to bear on readings of Arthurian literature in Sovereign Fantasies, a provocative work deeply engaged with postcolonial and gender theory.

Ingham argues that late medieval English Arthurian romance has broad cultural ambitions, offering a fantasy of insular union as an "imagined community" of British sovereignty. The Arthurian legends offer a means to explore England's historical indebtedness to and intimacies with Celtic culture, allowing nobles to repudiate their dynastic ties to France and claim themselves heirs to an insular heritage. Yet these traditions also provided a means to critique English conquest, elaborating the problems of centralized sovereignty and the suffering produced by chivalric culture. Texts such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Alliterative Morte Arthure, and Caxton's edition of Malory's Morte Darthur provide what she terms a "sovereign fantasy" for Britain. That is, Arthurian romance offers a cultural means to explore broad political contestations over British identity and heritage while also detailing the poignant complications and losses that belonging to such a community poses to particular regions and subjects. These contestations and complications emerge in exactly those aspects of the tales usually read as fantasy-for example, in the narratives of Arthur's losses, in the prophecies of his return, and in tales that dwell on death, exotic strangeness, uncanny magic, gender, and sexuality.

Ingham's study suggests the nuances of the insular identity that is emphasized in this body of literature. Sovereign Fantasies shows the significance, rather than the irrelevance, of medieval dynastic motifs to projects of national unification, arguing that medieval studies can contribute to our understanding of national formations in part by marking the losses produced by union.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812236002
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/7/2001
  • Series: The Middle Ages Series
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Clare Ingham is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I The Matter of Britain
1 Arthurian Imagination and the "Making" of History 21
2 Arthurian Futurism and British Destiny 51
Pt. II Romancing the Throne
3 Disavowing Romance: Colonial Loss and Stories of the Past 77
4 "In Contrayez Straunge": Sovereign Rivals, Fantasies of Gender, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 107
5 Dangerous Liaisons: Disloyalty, Adultery, and the Tragedy of Romance 137
Pt. III Insular Losses
6 Military Intimacies: The Pleasures and Pains of Conquest 161
7 "Necessary" Losses: Royal Death and English Remembrance 192
Afterword: Lost Books 227
Notes 231
Bibliography 265
Index 281
Acknowledgments 287
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)