This is the first book-length study to consider the works of Osbern Bokenham in the light of the discovery of his long-lost magnum opus, the so-called Abbotsford Legenda Aurea, in 2004. Bokenham is an author who, throughout his oeuvre, never tires of stressing his own marginality, historically (as the belated, inferior son of greater poets) and geographically (as an Englishman writing in the vernacular). Notwithstanding this, he negotiates with the very spatial and temporal perspectives which would seem to isolate him in such a way as to lay claim to an authentic and broad-reaching auctoritas for his own poetic voice. Throughout his oeuvre, Bokenham counters the patriarchal hegemonies of literary and political history by asserting an alternative, spiritually pristine matrilineage, which also serves to legitimise his own feminised vernacular tongue and national identity. He deploys the motifs of language, lineage and location in such a way that historical, geographical and gender marginality ultimately become grounds for exaltation, due to their deep-rooted spiritual integrity. Yet, beyond this, spatial and historical hierarchies and distinctions are ultimately dissolved through Bokenham's increasingly daring vision of the inclusiveness of the communio sanctorum - of the continuously and universally binding force of exemplarity.
|Publisher:||Cambridge Scholars Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)|
About the Author
Alice Spencer holds a doctorate from the University of Turin, where she now teaches. As an undergraduate, she studied at St. Hugh's College, Oxford University. Her first book, entitled Dialogues of Love and Government, was published in 2007. She is the author of numerous articles and book titles on fourteenth and fifteenth century English literature. She has also published two English language textbooks.