'Of the holy londe of Irlande': A reconsideration of some Middle English Texts in late medieval Ireland

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

    • Kathryn Stevenson

    Abstract

    This thesis is primarily concerned with a re-examination of the scholarly constructions and ‘reconstructions’ of Anglo-Irish reading communities in late medieval Ireland, and specifically, the audiences that existed for texts in English. The research undertaken focuses on issues surrounding the production and reception (contemporary and subsequent) of a corpus of late medieval manuscripts of assumed Irish provenance containing literary texts in Middle English, and seeks to explore the extent to which current historical and literary scholarship may be seen to engage with, replicate or distort the contexts in which these Middle English texts were copied, read and circulated by addressing two key questions. Firstly, how valid is the current cultural narrative for the study of Middle Hiberno-English literary culture? And secondly, how do these texts relate to wider Anglophone culture in the medieval period?

    Whilst the paucity of extant material is undoubtedly a significant factor in the comparative scholarly neglect of Middle English literary texts of medieval Irish provenance, it is not, it is suggested, the only issue at stake. It is one of the contentions of this study that the relative neglect of the majority of these texts might, in part, be seen to stem from their respective marginalisation in the shaping of literary histories - literary histories that are in themselves both the product of, and instrumental in shaping, what are arguably post-medieval conceptions of cultural and national identities.
    Whilst the paucity of extant material is undoubtedly a significant factor in the comparative scholarly neglect of Middle English literary texts of medieval Irish provenance, it is not, it is suggested, the only issue at stake. It is one of the contentions of this study that the relative neglect of the majority of these texts might, in part, be seen to stem from their respective marginalisation in the shaping of literary histories - literary histories that are in themselves both the product of, and instrumental in shaping, what are arguably post-medieval conceptions of cultural and national identities.
    Whilst the paucity of extant material is undoubtedly a significant factor in the comparative scholarly neglect of Middle English literary texts of medieval Irish provenance, it is not, it is suggested, the only issue at stake. It is one of the contentions of this study that the relative neglect of the majority of these texts might, in part, be seen to stem from their respective marginalisation in the shaping of literary histories - literary histories that are in themselves both the product of, and instrumental in shaping, what are arguably post-medieval conceptions of cultural and national identities.

    Whilst the paucity of extant material is undoubtedly a significant factor in the comparative scholarly neglect of Middle English literary texts of medieval Irish provenance, it is not, it is suggested, the only issue at stake. It is one of the contentions of this study that the relative neglect of the majority of these texts might, in part, be seen to stem from their respective marginalisation in the shaping of literary histories - literary histories that are in themselves both the product of, and instrumental in shaping, what are arguably post-medieval conceptions of cultural and national identities.

    View graph of relations

    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    Supervisors/Advisors
    Award dateOct 2010

    ID: 184139664