Lost Artefacts From Medieval England and France

Lost Artefacts From Medieval England and France

By Laura Cleaver



Contemporary descriptions of objects no longer extant examined to reconstruct these lost treasures. Surviving accounts of the material culture of medieval Europe - including buildings, boats, reliquaries, wall paintings, textiles, ivory mirror cases, book bindings and much more - present a tantalising glimpse of medieval life, hinting at the material richness of that era. However, students and scholars of the period will be all too familiar with the frustration of trying to piece together a picture of the past from a handful of fragments. The "material turn" has put art, architecture, and other artefacts at the forefront of historical and cultural studies, and the resulting spotlight on the material culture of the past has been illuminating for researchers in many fields. Nevertheless, the loss of so much of the physical remnants of the Middle Ages continues to thwart our understanding of the period, and much of the knowledge we often take for granted is based on a series of arbitrary survivals. The twelve essays in this book draw on a wide array of sources and disciplines to explore how textual records, from the chronicles of John of Worcester and Matthew Paris and inventories of monastic treasuries and noble women to Beowulf and early English riddles, when combined with archaeological and art-historical evidence, can expand our awareness of artistic and cultural environments. Touching on a broad range of issues around how we imaginatively reconstruct the medieval past and a variety of objects, both precious and ephemeral, this volume will be of fundamental interest to medieval scholars, whatever their disciplinary field. Contributors: Katherine Baker, Marian Bleeke, Deirdre Carter, Laura Cleaver, Judith Collard, Joshua Davies, Kathryn Gerry, Karl Kinsella, Katherine A. Rush, Katherine Weikert, Beth Whalley, Victoria Yuskaitis

ISBN: 9781914049057


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