Hafan Llyfrau Basged Man Talu Fy Nghyfrif Cymorth Cynigion Arbennig Cysylltu   English  
Dod o Hyd i Siop Lyfrau
Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Religion and Culture in the Middle Ages: Castles of the Mind - As Study of Medieval Architectural Allegory
Christiania Whitehead
ISBN: 9780708317945 (0708317944)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Gorffennaf 2003
Cyhoeddwr: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru / University of Wales Press, Caerdydd
Fformat: Clawr Caled, 225x144 mm, 326 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Archebir yn l y galw Ein Pris: £45.00   
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Astudiaeth ysgolheigaidd gynhwysfawr o draddodiad yr alegori bensaernïol mewn llenyddiaeth ganoloesol, yn destunau Cristnogol a seciwlar, gan awdur cydnabyddedig ar arferion testunol, gyda nodiadau manwl.

A comprehensive scholarly study of the tradition of architectural allegory in medieval literature, in both Christian and secular texts, written by a renowned author on textual practices, with detailed explanatory notes.
Christiania Whitehead is Lecturer in Middle English at the University of Warwick and a specialist in mediaeval allegory. Allegory, capable as it is of simultaneously literal and symbolic meanings, has always had an attraction for writers. Castles of the Mind identifies and traces two primary traditions of symbolic textual architecture from antiquity until the Tudor era. There is 'the long Judaeo-Christian tradition of allegorical architectural reverie symbolised by the temple, tabernacle and ark' which was superseded in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries by more contemporary images of the church and cloister and in the later middle ages by secular and domestic structures like the castle and manor.

The second part of the book exchanges a Christian for the secular classical tradition of allegory, which also has a long history, and which flourished particularly with the renaissance in classical studies from the twelfth century. The author's microscopic analysis of the chosen texts covers both well-known and hitherto neglected mediaeval manuscripts, such as liturgical manuals, shown for the first time to be important literary and sociological resources. Although there are many quotations in Latin, translations are provided among the numerous references at the end of the book, and - given Christiania Whitehead's specialist knowledge - it is not surprising that the greater part of the book considers writings in the vernacular.

Inevitably men predominate, but there are quotations also from female visionary writers like Mechtild of Magdeburg, St Catherine of Siena and St Birgitta, as well as the scholarly Christine de Pisan. The close study of architecturally inspired allegories created by a vast range of authors and their disciples in successive eras provides an amazing insight into the mediaeval mind, an outstanding example being the Castell of Perseverance, a mediaeval morality play.

Although this is obviously a textbook for students of literature, it is still an enlightening read for anyone interested in people and the past. In her Afterword, the author expresses the hope that she has 'reconfigured the landscape of current thought upon the character and disposition of mediaeval allegory'. The answer must surely be in the affirmative.

Sue Passmore

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgement should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

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