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Fifteenth-Century Studies 37

Fifteenth-Century Studies 37

Barbara I. Gusick
Matthew Z. Heintzelman
Volume: 37
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Fifteenth-Century Studies 37
    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. Volume 37 includes articles on René d'Anjou and authorial doubling in the 'Livre du Coeur d'Amour épris'; tradition and innovation in popular German song poetry from Oswald von Wolkenstein to Georg Forster; the role of sacred images in Capgrave's 'Life of Saint Katherine'; milieu, John Strecche, and the Gawain-poet; Gaelic, Middle Scots, and the question of ethnicity in three Scottish flytings; William Caxton's translations of Aesop; the visualization of information in Conrad Buitzruss's compendium; and Gilles de Rais and his modern apologists. Book reviews conclude the volume. Contributors: Albrecht Classen, Nicholas Ealy, Richard Garrett, Rosanne Gasse, Janice McCoy, Jacqueline Murdock, Ben Parsons, Carolyn King Stephens, Elizabeth Wade-Sirabian. 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: 978-1-57113-822-4
    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

    • Tradition and Innovation in 15th and 16th Century Popular Song Poetry: From Oswald von Wolkenstein to Georg Forster
      (pp. 1-16)
      Albrecht Classen

      While scholarly devotion to texts and documents from the Middle Ages often engenders spirited debate, we must also dedicate analytic interpretation to the study of context itself, hence of the manuscript as a holistic entity. Parchment was expensive, and the typical medieval horror vacui — vividly reflected, for instance, in the nuns’ choir of the famous Cistercian convent of Wienhausen near Celle, Germany — often led to the curious phenomenon of manuscripts filled from cover to cover with all kinds of texts, these lacking a specific ordering principle even if not factoring in the often highly embellished margins and illustrations. Thus we...

    • The Poet at the Mirror: René d’Anjou and Authorial Doubling in the “Livre du Cœur d’Amour épris”
      (pp. 17-46)
      Nicholas Ealy

      Before the allegorical dream narrative that comprises most of the Livre du Cœur d’Amour épris (Book of the Love-Smitten Heart) (1457), René d’Anjou, Duke of the Angevine territories and King of Sicily, addresses a prose complaint to his nephew and cousin, Jean de Bourbon. Hopelessly in love with a woman he calls Sweet Mercy (Douce Merci), who does not appear to reciprocate the sentiment, René cannot decide whether to blame Fortune, Love, or his own destiny for the torment that has befallen his forlorn heart: “pource que l’un des trois si m’a si griefment mis en soulcy et tourment que...

    • Modern Translator or Medieval Moralist?: William Caxton and Aesop
      (pp. 47-70)
      Richard Garrett

      There is a fascinating scene from the Life of Aesop, as recounted in Julien Macho’s late fifteenth-century Esope, in which King Xantus of Babylon requests that his servant Aesop go to the market and buy the best meat procurable for that evening’s meal, which Xantus is hosting for a group of scholars visiting for a few days. Aesop returns soon thereafter with a basket of pork tongues. Upon seeing the tongues, the king insults Aesop, and he and the scholars angrily question the slave as to why he bought tongues when ordered to purchase the best meat. Justifying his choice...

    • A Battle of “Trechour Tung[s]”: Gaelic, Middle Scots, and the Question of Ethnicity in the Scottish Flyting
      (pp. 71-96)
      Jacquelyn Hendricks

      “Iersche brybour baird” (49) — translated “Gaelic vagabond minstrel” — forcefully commences William Dunbar’s second invective against Walter Kennedy as dramatized within The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy.¹ The flyting, a term originally used to describe a rowdy public quarrel in the Middle Ages,² was a popular verse form in 15th- and 16th- century Scotland in which two poets would attempt to outwit each other in a series of vulgar denunciations. The debaters creatively manipulated the Middle Scots language by concocting vivid caricatures and lambasting one another to the delight of audiences. Yet Dunbar’s words do more than throw down the gauntlet...

    • Wheels and Wycliffites: The Role of Sacred Images in Capgrave’s “The Life of Saint Katherine”
      (pp. 97-112)
      Janice McCoy

      In Book III of John Capgrave’s Life of Saint Katherine, the Virgin warns Katherine that her enemies may call her “Lollard, which, or elve” (III.327),¹ an admonition that has special relevance, not just for the saint, but for this version of her story. This line has contributed to the view held by some researchers that Capgrave expresses sympathy, or at least ambivalence, toward unorthodox views, especially with regard to images and their use in spiritual contexts.² Fifteenth-century challenges to the use of the visual arts in religious practice, including veneration of depictions of saints such as Katherine herself, gave rise...

    • Sympathy for the Devil: Gilles de Rais and His Modern Apologists
      (pp. 113-138)
      Ben Parsons

      The soldier, nobleman, and multicide Gilles de Rais ranks among the most notorious criminals of the fifteenth century. Executed at Nantes in 1440 for a host of crimes, which apparently included heresy, the invocation of demons, and the murder of an undetermined number of children, he is a figure tailor-made for lasting infamy. However, Gilles has also enjoyed an extraordinary posthumous career, even undergoing something of a procès de réhabilitation in the vein of his former companion Jeanne d’Arc. This exoneration seems to have begun at the very moment of his death. He was apparently followed to the gibbet by...

    • Milieu, John Strecche, and the “Gawain”-Poet
      (pp. 139-200)
      Carolyn King Stephens

      The Gawain-poet’s contributions to English language and literature were seminal and his quality as a poet maintains its excellence after more than 600 years. Yet the Gawain-poet continues to be anonymous. His most widely read work, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (SGGK),¹ is still a mystery, for readers and scholars have yet to understand its many references to places and issues outside the text. The artist’s craft and sophistication go underappreciated when much of the humor, irony, and metaphor in SGGK depends upon knowing the context and audience to which the poet’s allusions apply. The goal of this study...

    • Thinking on Paper: Reference Tools, Tables, and Diagrams in Conrad Buitzruss’s Compendium (Clm 671)
      (pp. 201-224)
      Elizabeth I. Wade-Sirabian

      In 1422, fifteen-year-old Conrad Buitzruss began his studies at the University of Heidelberg and started to copy an assortment of Latin and German texts into what became an octavo-sized codex now known by the signature Clm 671.¹ Over the next five years, the young compiler neatly transcribed texts on astrology, medicine, geomancy, ritual magic, medical remedies, the culinary arts, and other artes mechanicae into the codex’s first ten gatherings² — creating a striking array of visual elements in the compendium: a number of tables, charts, astronomical illustrations, volvelles, and other kinds of imagery as well as schematically arranged words and lists....

  4. Book Reviews

    • Altavista, Clara. Lucca e Paolo Guinigi, 1400–1430: la costruzione di una corte rinascimentale: città, architettura, arte. Pisa: ETS, 2005. Pp. 255, 80 b. & w. illustrations.
      (pp. 225-227)
      Flavio Boggi
    • Cropp, Glynnis M., ed. Böece de Confort remanié. Vol. 1 of European Translations. London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 2011. Pp. 216.
      (pp. 228-231)
      Michelle Szkilnik
    • Glei, Reinhold F., Nicola Kaminski, and Franz Lebsanft, eds. Boethius Christianus?: Transformationen der “Consolatio Philosophiae” in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010. Pp. viii; 435.
      (pp. 231-234)
      Noel Harold Kaylor Jr
    • McCormack, Frances. Chaucer and the Culture of Dissent: The Lollard Context and Subtext of the “Parson’s Tale.” Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007. Pp. 252.
      (pp. 234-238)
      Ethan Campbell
    • Mühlethaler, Jean-Claude. Charles d’Orléans: un lyrisme entre Moyen Âge et modernité. Paris: Garnier, 2010. Pp. 246.
      (pp. 239-241)
      Rory G. Critten
    • Scattergood, V. J. Occasions for Writing: Essays on Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Politics and Society. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2010. Pp. 272.
      (pp. 242-244)
      Rosanne Gasse
    • Schwob, Anton, and Ute Monika Schwob, eds. Die Lebenszeugnisse Oswalds von Wolkenstein: Edition und Kommentar. Vol. 4: 1438–1442, Nr. 277–386. Vienna, Cologne, and Weimar: Böhlau, 2011. Pp. xxii; 349.
      (pp. 244-246)
      Albrecht Classen
    • Von Wolkenstein, Oswald. Das poetische Werk: Gesamtübersetzung in neuhochdeutsche Prosa. Translated by Wernfried Hofmeister. Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 2011. Pp. 397.
      (pp. 246-248)
      Albrecht Classen
  5. Back Matter
    (pp. 249-249)