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EN5607 Medieval Narratives

Instructors: Dr Alistair Bennett, with Dr Catherine Nall, Professor Jane Everson, Dr Jennifer Neville, and Professor Ruth Harvey

To be taught in the International Building at Royal Holloway, Egham, on Wednesdays 10-12, over two terms.

This course explores the traditions and forms of medieval story-telling. In addition to texts in Old and Middle English, the course will include key French and Italian texts in translation. We will explore various narrative genres, such as epic, chronicle, romance, and fabliau, and some of the major tale collections of the period, such as the Decameron and the Canterbury Tales. The aim of this course is to broaden your knowledge of the range of medieval narratives and to provide you with relevant theoretical approaches so that you can develop the types of analyses that you perform on them.


Introductory Reading:

Davenport, W. A., Medieval Narrative: An Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). [a good book to buy]

Ong, W., Orality and Literacy (London: Routledge, 1982).

Chaytor, H., From Script to Print (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1945)

Vitz, E. B., Medieval Narrative and Modern Narratology: Subjects and Objects of Desire (New York: New York University Pres, 1989)

Wallace, David, ed., The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).


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