Remains of the Hunt in Middle English Literature

Ireland, Casey, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Holsinger, Bruce, AS-English-Eng Lit Ops, University of Virginia

“Remains of the Hunt in Middle English Literature” foregrounds the medieval English hunt as a ritualized practice and a literary genre at the intersection of national identity and class. If the hunting procedures imposed by William I altered the landscapes, natural resources, and nonhuman populations of early medieval England, post-Conquest representations of the hunt address the social, cultural, and political impact of these changes while attempting to fashion a distinct method of hunting. Each of three chapters presents a specific feature of the hunt: the social and environmental impact of poaching recorded in chronicles and dream visions, the aristocratic performance of mixed Norman and English modes of slaughter in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the literary self-fashioning of fifteenth century hunting manuals. My project places the development of medieval English hunting within the context of the broader relations between France and England in order to question what the processes of cultural contact are, and to examine their leftovers. 

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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