Studies in Medievalism XI: Appropriating the Middle Ages: Scholarship, Politics, Fraudby Tom Shippey, Martin Arnold (Associate Editor)
The middle ages remain a prize to be fought for and a territory to control. From early modern times rulers and politicians have sought to ground their legitimacy in ancient tradition - which they have often invented or rewritten for their own purposes. This issue of Studies in Medievalism presents a number of such cases, ranging from the rewriting of Mozart, and Merovingian history, for the King of Bavaria, to the anglicization of the medieval Welsh Mabinogion by the wife of an English ironmaster. Other articles consider the involvement of scholarship with national and professional self-definition, whether in Renaissance Holland or Victorian Britain. And who "discovered" America, Christopher Columbus or Leif Ericsson? This is an issue of vital importance to many 19th-century Americans, but one created and determined entirely by scholarship. Simple commercial motives for exploiting the middle ages are also represented, whether straightforward forgery for sale, or the giant modern industry of tourism. Professor TOM SHIPPEY teaches in the Department of English at the University of St Louis; Dr MARTIN ARNOLD teaches at University College, Scarborough. Contributors: SOPHIE VAN ROMBURGH, ROLF H. BREMMER JR, BETSY BOWDEN, WERNER WUNDERLICH, JUDITH JOHNSTON, GERALDINE BARNES, RICHARD UTZ, JOHN BLOCK FRIEDMAN, STEVE WATSON.
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