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The Oxford English Literary HistoryVolume I: 1000-1350: Conquest and Transformation$
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Laura Ashe

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199575381

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199575381.001.0001

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Conversations with the Living and the Dead

Conversations with the Living and the Dead

(p.299) 6 Conversations with the Living and the Dead
The Oxford English Literary History

Laura Ashe

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the ways in which ideas permeated and changed society over time, through mechanisms that cannot directly be seen in the literary record. It seeks to adumbrate the vibrant oral culture of the period by tracing the movement of ideas between texts, contexts and audiences, using romances, lyrics, sermons, devotional works, anecdotes and proverbs, and accounts of legal cases. Extended discussions are offered of the figure of King Arthur in the Latin of Geoffrey of Monmouth, French of Wace, and English of Laȝamon; the Marian lament at the Passion, in Latin and its French and later English translations; the early Middle English religious lyric; the Mirror of the Church in Latin, French, and English; the South English Legendary, and several other texts.

Keywords:   King Arthur, South English Legendary, Quis dabit, Stond wel, moder ounder rode, Edmund of Abingdon, Speculum Ecclesie/Speculum religiosorum, The Owl and the Nightingale, the Virgin Mary, Middle English lyric, community, pastoral care

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