English | May 19, 2005 | ISBN: 1843840413 | 189 Pages | PDF | 0,7 MB
As the point of origin, both real and imagined, of English law and group identity, the Anglo-Saxon past was important in the construction of a post-Conquest English society that was both aware of, and placed great stock in, its Anglo-Saxon heritage; yet its depiction in post-Conquest literature has been very little studied.
This book examines a wide range of sources (legal and historiographical as well as literary) in order to reveal a "social construction" of Anglo-Saxon England that held a significant place in the literary and cultural imagination of the post-Conquest English. Using a variety of texts, but the Matter of England romances in particular, the author argues that they show a continued interest in the Anglo-Saxon past, from the localised East Sussex legend of King Alfred that underlies the twelfth-century Proverbs of Alfred, to the institutional interest in the Guy of Warwick narrative exhibited by the community of St. Swithun's Priory in Winchester during the fifteenth century; they are part of a continued cultural remembrance that encompasses chronicles, folk memories, and literature. Dr ROBERT ALLLEN ROUSE teaches in the Department of English, University of British Columbia.