The Oxford English Literary History: Volume I: 1000-1350: Conquest and Transformation Cover Image
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The Oxford English Literary History is the new century's definitive account of a rich and diverse literary heritage that stretches back for a millennium and more.

Each of these thirteen groundbreaking volumes offers a leading scholar's considered assessment of the authors, works, cultural traditions, events, and ideas that shaped the literary voices of their age. The series will enlighten and inspire not only everyone studying, teaching, and researching in
English Literature, but all serious readers.

This book describes and seeks to explain the vast cultural, literary, social, and political transformations which characterized the period 1000-1350. Change can be perceived everywhere at this time. Theology saw the focus shift from God the Father to the suffering Christ, while religious experience
became ever more highly charged with emotional affectivity and physical devotion. A new philosophy of interiority turned attention inward, to the exploration of self, and the practice of confession expressed that interior reality with unprecedented importance. The old understanding of penitence as a
whole and unrepeatable event, a second baptism, was replaced by a new allowance for repeated repentance and penance, and the possibility of continued purgation of sins after death. The concept of love moved centre stage: in Christ's love as a new explanation for the Passion; in the love of God as
the only means of governing the self; and in the appearance of narrative fiction, where heterosexual love was suddenly represented as the goal of secular life. In this mode of writing further emerged the figure of the individual, a unique protagonist bound in social and ethical relation with others;
from this came a profound recalibration of moral agency, with reference not only to God but to society. More generally, the social and ethical status of secular lives was drastically elevated by the creation and celebration of courtly and chivalric ideals. In England the ideal of kingship was forged
and reforged over these centuries, in intimate relation with native ideals of counsel and consent, bound by the law. In the aftermath of Magna Carta, and as parliament grew in reach and importance, a politics of the public sphere emerged, with a literature to match. These vast transformations have
long been observed and documented in their separate fields. The Oxford English Literary History: Volume 1: 1000-1350: Conquest and Transformation offers an account of these changes by which they are all connected, and explicable in terms of one another.

About the Author

Laura Ashe, Professor of English and Tutorial Fellow, Worcester College, Oxford Laura Ashe is Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Worcester College. She works on medieval English literary, cultural, and political history, with particular specialisms in England's multilingual literatures, chivalry and crusading, kingship, romance andhistoriography, sanctity and hagiography, devotional writings and thought, love, subjectivity, and the early literature of interiority. Educated at Cambridge and Harvard, her books include Fiction and History in England, 1066DS1200 (2007), Early Fiction in England: From Geoffrey of Monmouth toChaucer (2015), and Richard II (2016). She is one of the editors of New Medieval Literatures, has edited several other collaborative volumes, and published numerous articles, on topics ranging from the eighth to the seventeenth century.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780192859105
ISBN-10: 0192859102
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: January 30th, 2022
Pages: 492
Language: English
Series: Oxford English Literary History