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Fifteenth-Century Studies 36

Fifteenth-Century Studies 36

Edelgard E. DuBruck
Barbara I. Gusick
Matthew Z. Heintzelman
Volume: 36
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 226
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  • Book Info
    Fifteenth-Century Studies 36
    Book Description:

    The fifteenth century defies consensus on fundamental issues; most scholars agree, however, that the period outgrew the Middle Ages, that it was a time of transition and a passage to modern times. ‘Fifteenth-Century Studies’ offers essays on diverse aspects of the period, including liberal and fine arts, historiography, medicine, and religion. Essays within this thirty-sixth volume treat a wide range of topics: the importance of manuscript culture as reflected in ‘Cárcel de amor’; the wanderings of René d'Anjou and Olivier de la Marche as reflected in literary texts; the art of compiling in Jean de Bueil's ‘Jouvencel’; a diplomatic transcription of Princeton MS 153 (reception and compilation practices of the ‘Rose’); historical approaches in the chronicles of Jean le Bel and Jean Froissart; the Fairfax Sequence in Bodleian MS Fairfax 16; anticlerical critique in the Croxton ‘Play of the Sacrament’; the Chester cycle of mystery plays; the conquering Turk in Carnival Nürnberg: Hans Rosenplüt's ‘Des Turken Vasnachtspil’; and Tolkien's eucatastrophe and Malory's ‘Morte Darthur’. Book reviews conclude the volume. CONTRIBUTORS: Ethan Campbell, Emily C. Francomano, D. Thomas Hanks, Jr., Theodore K. Lerud, John Moreau, Gerald Nachtwey, Mariana Neilly, Marco Nievergelt, Michelle Szkilnik, Martin W. Walsh. EDITORS: BARBARA I. GUSICK is Professor Emerita of English at Troy University, Dothan, Alabama; MATTHEW Z. HEINTZELMAN is curator of the Austria/Germany Study Center and Rare Book Cataloger at Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota.

    eISBN: 978-1-57113-762-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Essays

    • “Be Ware of the Key”: Anticlerical Critique in the “Play of the Sacrament”
      (pp. 1-24)
      Ethan Campbell

      The Croxton Play of the Sacrament, an East Anglian eucharistic miracle play which purports to dramatize events that took place in Spain in 1461, suffers from no shortage of villains. In fact, among the play’s fifteen characters, one would be hard pressed to identify a single hero besides Christ himself, embodied in the communion wafer, whose bodily image appears at the climax. The multiple antagonists include Jonathas, the Jewish skeptic who tortures and maims Christ’s body; his henchmen Jason, Jasdon, and Malchus; the slippery Christian merchant Aristorius, who sells them the Host; a clownish quack doctor named Brundyche; and even...

    • “Puse un sobreescripto” [I wrote a new cover]: Manuscript, Print, and the Material Epistolarity of “Cárcel de amor”
      (pp. 25-48)
      Emily C. Francomano

      “Antes pusiera las manos en mí para acabar la vida que en el papel para començar a escrevirte” [I would rather put myself to death by my own hands than put them on paper to begin writing to you] (Cárcel de amor, 40).¹ Cárcel de amor abounds in references to the physical act of writing. While allusions to setting pen to paper and taking pen in hand are familiar conventions in epistolary discourse, in Cárcel the convention focuses readerly attention on the materiality of texts and also upon the power of the material text. Throughout, Leriano, Laureola, Persio, and the...

    • “A Far Green Country Under a Swift Sunrise” — Tolkien’s Eucatastrophe and Malory’s “Morte Darthur”
      (pp. 49-64)
      D. Thomas Hanks Jr.

      Not all stories concerning armored men on horseback, with swords and spears and pursuing high endeavor, are the same story. If they were, The Song of Roland, or El Cid, or any of Chrêtien’s romances, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, (etc.), would be merely repeated narrations of that one fictive work. These tales are not solely iterations. It is nonetheless true that certain similarities pertain and that these parallels can be investigated with perhaps-interesting results. Equivalences between Arthurian romances and J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic fairy-story The Lord of the Rings have been noted by others;¹ in this...

    • The Procession and the Play: Some Light on Fifteenth-Century Drama in Chester
      (pp. 65-84)
      Theodore K. Lerud

      Although the fifteenth century, based on evidence of the York plays and the work of the so-called Wakefield Master, is popularly viewed as the heyday of cycle drama production,¹ scholars of the Chester plays have long suggested that the drama’s structure underwent a major shift in performance format in the first part of the sixteenth century. Lawrence Clopper, for example, states:

      Between 1521 and 1532 the play was sufficiently altered that it came to be designated by the plural. The decade 1521–32 proves . . . to be of great significance in the history of the cycle.²

      The period...

    • Une Anthologie de vers du “Roman de la rose” du XVe siècle (Princeton University Library, ms. 153)
      (pp. 85-102)
      John Moreau

      Dans le manuscrit Princeton 153, copié en France dans le dernier quart du XVe siècle, figurent 471 vers, jusqu’ici inédits, sous l’incipit “Aucuns petis extraictz du romant de la rose.”¹ Ces extraits jettent quelque lumière sur la réception de la Rose au Moyen Âge tardif; ils rappellent notamment les arguments de Pierre-Yves Badel et de Sylvia Huot, selon lesquels les lecteurs du XIVe et du début XVe auraient envisagé la Rose non seulement comme un ouvrage strictement unifié, mais aussi comme la synthèse d’opinions susceptibles d’être citées et examinées de façon Indépendante.² Bien que notre texte soit bien plus tardif,...

    • Scapegoats and Conspirators in the Chronicles of Jean Froissart and Jean le Bel
      (pp. 103-126)
      Gerald Nachtwey

      Ever since the rediscovery of a manuscript of Jean le Bel’s Vrayes Chroniques in the mid-nineteenth century, scholars have acknowledged that much of Book One of Jean Froissart’s Chroniques derives from le Bel’s work.¹ Indeed, Froissart admits his indebtedness to the canon of Liège at the very beginning of the Chroniques.² For this reason, many modern readers, more interested in discussing the historical cause and effect of the events in both chronicles than the narrative relationships between them, acknowledge Froissart’s indebtedness to le Bel and then move on to historical analysis of one or the other work. To take only...

    • The “Fairfax Sequence” Reconsidered: Charles d’Orléans, William de la Pole, and the Anonymous Poems of Bodleian MS Fairfax 16
      (pp. 127-136)
      Mariana Neilly

      Late medieval English single-author lyric collections are rare. Scholars contend that English examples of courtly lyric compilations lack representation compared to the widespread Continental lyric manuscript tradition; however, an exception to that assessment appears in a unique codex, British Library MS Harley 682, the English poems attributed to Charles d’Orléans. The manuscript, dated to 1439–1440, contains English versions of Charles’s French poems along with almost 3000 lines of original English verse and has been recognized as “England’s largest and earliest surviving self-contained, author-assembled body of personal lyric.”¹ Scholars such as Julia Boffey and J.P.M. Jansen have raised critical objections...

    • The Quest for Chivalry in the Waning Middle Ages: The Wanderings of René d’Anjou and Olivier de la Marche
      (pp. 137-168)
      Marco Nievergelt

      Johan Huizinga’s characterization of the fifteenth century as the “Waning” or “Autumn” of the Middle Ages has been as influential as it has been controversial, and despite the amount of criticism and skepticism the portrayal has elicited from its scholarly readers over the last ninety years, this conceptualization has largely stood its ground, invariably stimulating debate and further research.¹ The present case study is at once a tribute to Huizinga’s unique perceptiveness as an “intuitive historian,” but also an attempt to flesh out some of his intuitions by focusing more sharply on two figures that in different ways may be...

    • The Art of Compiling in Jean de Bueil’s “Jouvencel” (1461–1468)
      (pp. 169-180)
      Michelle Szkilnik

      Compilation is common practice throughout the Middle Ages, especially in the 15th century,² which scholars have long recognized. While many have analyzed intertextual relations, transfers of motifs and characters, adaptations, and recombinations, scholars have rarely tried to make sense of the practice of compilation, to question how and why medieval writers incorporate previous texts into their own works, perhaps because modern researchers feel uncomfortable with a process that today would be equated with plagiarism. Medieval authors do not hesitate to borrow sentences or whole segments of texts, sometimes acknowledging that they are doing so but most often not. Yet compilation...

    • Conquering Turk in Carnival Nürnberg: Hans Rosenplüt’s “Des Turken Vasnachtspil” of 1456
      (pp. 181-200)
      Martin W. Walsh

      One of the more curious European reactions to the traumatic Fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453 is a carnival play (Fastnachtspiel) by the Nürnberg armorer and gunsmith Hans Rosenplüt.¹ This earliest of the datable German carnival plays is something of an anomaly as the piece depends not upon the usual cast of boorish peasants, quack doctors, or inebriated celebrants of the pre-Lenten festival, but rather upon the arrival of the Turkish sultan himself, Mehmed II al Fatih, Mehmed the Conqueror.

      There is a clear temporal marker early on in Rosenplüt’s text: “Der große Türk ist kumen her, /...

  4. Book Reviews

    • Bouhaïk-Gironès, Marie. Les clercs de la Basoche et le théâtre comique: Paris, 1420-1550. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2007. Pp. 309.
      (pp. 201-204)
      Olga Anna Duhl
    • Dufournet, Jean. Dernières recherches sur Villon. Paris: Champion, 2008. Pp. 207.
      (pp. 204-208)
      Edelgard E. DuBruck
    • Dufournet, Jean. Jean Renart: Le Roman de la Rose ou de Guillaume de Dole. Presentation and translation of the text edited by Félix Lecoy (1979). Paris: Champion, 2008. Pp. 480.
      (pp. 208-211)
      Edelgard E. DuBruck
    • European Medieval Drama 11. General Editor: Jelle Koopmans (Amsterdam). Turnhout: Brepols, 2007. Pp. 221.
      (pp. 211-217)
      Edelgard E. DuBruck
    • European Medieval Drama 12. General Editor: Jelle Koopmans (Amsterdam). Turnhout: Brepols, 2008. Pp. 239.
      (pp. 217-220)
      Edelgard E. DuBruck
  5. Back Matter
    (pp. 221-221)