This uniquely ambitious history offers an account of all aspects of cultural activity and production throughout the world of Latin Christendom 1200-1450. Beginning with a detailed description of the political and economic circumstances that allowed the 'Gothic Moment' to flourish, the body of the book is both a celebration of the Gothic cultural achievement - in cathedral-building, in manuscript illumination, in chivalric love-romance, in stained glass and in many other arts - and an investigation of its social origins and systems of production.
English Gothic Misericord Carvings: History from the Bottom Up by Betsy Chunko-Dominguez explores misericords from the perspective of their several potential viewers. It is the first book to move beyond textual dependence and traditional iconographic analysis when examining this subject.
The Goths are truly a “lost civilization.” Sweeping down from the north, ancient Gothic tribes sacked the imperial city of Rome and set in motion the decline and fall of the western Roman empire. Ostrogothic and Visigothic kings ruled over Italy and Spain, dominating early medieval Europe. Yet after the last Gothic kingdom fell more than a thousand years ago, the Goths disappeared as an independent people. Over the centuries that followed, as traces of Gothic civilization vanished, its people came to be remembered as both barbaric destroyers and heroic champions of liberty. In this engaging history, David M. Gwynn brings together the interwoven stories of the original Goths and the diverse Gothic heritage, a heritage that continues to shape our modern world. From the ancient migrations to contemporary Goth culture, through debates over democratic freedom and European nationalism, and drawing on writers from Shakespeare to Bram Stoker, Gwynn explores the ever-widening gulf between the Goths of history and the popular imagination. Historians, students of architecture and literature, and general readers alike will learn something new about this great lost civilization.
'My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side,' warns Dracula. This statement is descriptive of the Gothic genre. Like the Count, the Gothic encompasses and has manifested itself in many forms. Bram Stoker and the Gothic demonstrates how Dracula marks a key moment in the transformation of the Gothic. Harking back to early Gothic's preoccupation with the supernatural, decayed aristocracy and incarceration in gloomy castles, the novel speaks to its own time, but has also transformed the genre, a revitalization that continues to sustain the Gothic today. This collection explores the formations of the Gothic, the relationship between Stoker's work and some of his Gothic predecessors, such as Poe and Wollstonecraft, presents new readings of Stoker's fiction and probes the influences of his cultural circle, before concluding by examining aspects of Gothic transformation from Daphne du Maurier to Stoker's own 'reincarnation' in fiction and biography. Bram Stoker and the Gothic testifies to Stoker's centrality to the Gothic genre. Like Dracula, Stoker's 'revenge' shows no sign of abating.
This revised new edition of The Handbook of the Gothic contains over one hundred entries on Gothic writers, themes, terms, concepts, contexts and locations, featuring new entries on writers including Stephen King and Wilkie Collins, new genres and a new Preface which situates the handbook within current studies of the Gothic.
Cross the threshold into the world of the High Middle Ages and explore the illuminating wisdom, beauty and art of the Gothic cathedrals, stunning wonders of the medieval era for all to see today. From bejewelled stained glass windows to a pilgrimage “on the road” to Compostela, the wonders of Gothic architecture continue to inspire many worldwide. From the 12th century, the Gothic architectural style continued to spread throughout Europe. Highly-regarded medievalist Dr. Karen Ralls explores the legacy of this exquisite architectural period, whose artistic beauty and expert craftsmanship have served for centuries to inspire feelings of spiritual reverence and aesthetic wonder. She details the relationship between architecture, geometry, and music; explores the concept of the labyrinth; pilgrimage; Black Madonnas; astronomical calculations in the design and location of cathedrals; stone and wood carvings; gargoyles; the teachings of Pythagoras and the later Neo-Platonists, and more. For the general reader and specialist alike, Dr. Ralls guides the reader through the history, places, art, and symbolism of these unique "books in stone", providing a lively portal and solid resource for all. Lavishly illustrated with color photographs, a recommended reading section, lists of the major European cathedral sites and a full Bibliography, Gothic Cathedrals is a fascinating showcase of the mystic and spiritual symbolism found in these great structures of Europe, information that will help modern readers visit these sites and share in the energy of the sacred they continue to radiate.
With Italy at its centre, but encompassing the whole of Renaissance Europe, this evocative history challenges some of the popularly-held views on the Renaissance period. In particular, whilst always acknowledging the brilliance and exhuberance of Renaissance culture, Robin Kirkpatrick draws equal attention to the strangeness and often unresolved tensions that lay beneath the surface of that culture.Insisting on a European rather than purely Italian viewpoint, he embraces Renaissance thinking and culture in all its diversity: from Northern thinkers such as Cusanus, Luther and Calvin, to the painting of Van der Weyden and El Greco, and the music of the Flemish musicians, Josquin des Prez and Orlando Lassus. Special attention is also paid to the unique contribution made by Margueritte of Navarre to the development of humanist culture. The book concludes with a study of Shakespeare in which his plays are viewed as a searching critique of some of the main principles of Renaissance culture.
This volume continues the critical exploration of fundamental issues in the medieval and early modern world, here concerning mental health, spirituality, melancholy, mystical visions, medicine, and well-being. The contributors, who originally had presented their research at a symposium at The University of Arizona in May 2013, explore a wide range of approaches and materials pertinent to these issues, taking us from the early Middle Ages to the eighteenth century, capping the volume with some reflections on the relevance of religion today. Lapidary sciences matter here as much as medical-psychological research, combined with literary and art-historical approaches. The premodern understanding of mental health is not taken as a miraculous panacea for modern problems, but the contributors suggest that medieval and early modern writers, scientists, and artists commanded a considerable amount of arcane, sometimes curious and speculative, knowledge that promises to be of value and relevance even for us today, once again. Modern palliative medicine finds, for instance, intriguing parallels in medieval word magic, and the mystical perspectives encapsulated highly productive alternative perceptions of the macrocosm and microcosm that promise to be insightful and important also for the post-modern world.
Death is not only the final moment of life, it also casts a huge shadow on human society at large. People throughout time have had to cope with death as an existential experience, and this also, of course, in the premodern world. The contributors to the present volume examine the material and spiritual conditions of the culture of death, studying specific buildings and spaces, literary works and art objects, theatrical performances, and medical tracts from the early Middle Ages to the late eighteenth century. Death has always evoked fear, terror, and awe, it has puzzled and troubled people, forcing theologians and philosophers to respond and provide answers for questions that seem to evade real explanations. The more we learn about the culture of death, the more we can comprehend the culture of life. As this volume demonstrates, the approaches to death varied widely, also in the Middle Ages and the early modern age. This volume hence adds a significant number of new facets to the critical examination of this ever-present phenomenon of death, exploring poetic responses to the Black Death, types of execution of a female murderess, death as the springboard for major political changes, and death reflected in morality plays and art.
Using empirical research to explore medieval writers' imaginings of time, this study presents a new morphology by which to study narratives of time in fifteenth-century literary culture, focusing on poems of John Lydgate and Thomas Hoccleve. Karen Smyth begins with an overview of medieval time-keeping devices and considers collective and individual attitudes and perceptions of time. She then examines a range of Middle English authors' appropriations and innovations in relation to such perceptions, identifying competitions of tradition and innovation, allowing for an interrogation of commonly accepted medieval theories of time. An empirically based morphology emerges and is used to examine narratives of time in Lydgate and Hoccleve's work. Through a series of close readings of selected short poems and Lydgate's Troy Book, Fall of Princes, and Siege of Thebes and of Hoccleve's Regiments of Princes and Series, Karen Smyth looks at expressions of time and examples of the authors' negotiation of time consciousness, illustrating how both poets manipulate a range of cultural narratives of time in order to create multiple and sometimes competing temporalities within a single poem. Smyth simultaneously draws attention to Lydgate's and Hoccleve's underestimated artistic skills and lays out a means to re-evaluate medieval cultural attitudes towards time.