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    The agency of Arthurian material culture in the later middle ages

    Clancy, Matthew Richard (2020) The agency of Arthurian material culture in the later middle ages. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    In this thesis, I explore how and why a body of material culture was created in the late medieval period with explicit and sustained links to Arthurianism. In doing so, I address how Arthurian material culture emerged from (and fed back into) Arthurian texts, and consider how Arthurian materials work, both as enlivened objects, applying current thing and object theories, and as relic-like objects that move through time. I argue that Arthurian material culture must be placed in its historic context, against the background of the late medieval idolatry debate, in order to understand fully how medieval audiences responded to and interacted with Arthurian narratives. Based on the textual evidence, I argue that material things form an integral part of Arthurianism. However, I do not suggest an idealised relationship between the Arthurian literary tradition and Arthurian material culture: one did not simply inspire the other, but the two concepts developed together in the same time period, influenced by shared tenets of Arthurianism. My research shows that medieval subjects engaged with Arthurian materiality, not just to cite the texts, but to enact Arthurianism. In doing so, they sought to achieve specific social and political ambitions. Medieval audiences’ enactment of Arthurianism through the use of material culture suggests that they were living in a society that was saturated with both Arthurian traditions and thing narratives.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2022 15:48
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 15:28


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