War is a powerful and enduring literary topos, a repeated theme in both secular and religious literary genres of the middle ages. The idea and practice of war is central to some of the most dominant subject matters in the medieval period - as well as to chivalry, to religion, to ideas of nationhood, to concepts of gender, the body and the psyche. This book considers the variety of responses to warfare and combat in medieval literature, beginning with a consideration of ideal military practice and the reception of Vegetius, contrasted with Christine de Pisan's treatise on warfare. The collection then turns to chronicling war, particularly in France, Germany and Scotland, and also covers the fictions of war, as presented in English Arthurian narratives, Chaucer, Malory, and pastoral poetry. It concludes with an examination of attitudes to women in warfare. Contributors: MARIANNE AILES, CHRISTOPHER ALLMAND, GEORGES LE BRUSQUE, HELEN COOPER, HARRY JACKSON, ANDREW LYNCH, SIMON MEECHAM-JONES, CORINNE SAUNDERS, FRANCOISE LE SAUX, THEA SUMMERFIELD, NEIL E. THOMAS, KEVIN S. WHETTER. CORINNE SAUNDERS and NEIL THOMAS are in the department of English Studies, University of Durham; FRANCOISE LE SAUX is in the department of French at the University of Reading.
Writing War: Medieval Literary Responses to Warfare