Catalogue


Writing power in Anglo-Saxon England : texts, hierarchies, economies /
Catherine A.M. Clarke.
imprint
Cambridge : D.S. Brewer, 2012.
description
191 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
1843843196 (hbk.), 9781843843191 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge : D.S. Brewer, 2012.
isbn
1843843196 (hbk.)
9781843843191 (hbk.)
contents note
Order and interlace: the Guthlac poems of the Exeter Book -- Sites of economy: power and reckoning in the poetic epitaphs of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle -- 'Absens ero, presens ero': writing the absent patron -- Power and performance: authors and patrons in late Anglo-Saxon texts -- Remembering Anglo-Saxon patronage: the Libellus Æthelwoldi Episcopi and its contexts.
catalogue key
8418246
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [175]-186) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-11-01:
Clarke (English, Univ. of Southampton, UK) explores nuances of power in Anglo-Saxon culture as expressed in a variety of Anglo-Saxon and Latin texts. She not only demonstrates how these texts express vertical hierarchical relationships, but also emphasizes doubling as the texts equally demonstrate lateral, reciprocal relationships. For example, the first chapter, which discusses power and patronage in the Exeter Book's two Guthlac poems, shows that the poems both reinforce a vertical order of hierarchy and, primarily through play with the term lac (or gift), emphasize reciprocity. Subsequent chapters concern the nuances of power in the epitaphs of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle, the assertion of authority in works in which patrons are absent (with particular emphasis on acrostics), and relationships between authors and patrons in such works as the Encomium Emmae Reginae. A final chapter considers the political ramifications of power in 12th-century translations of 10th-century land charters. Each self-contained chapter incorporates a solid survey of recent scholarship and close readings of the texts, although Clarke's meaning is sometimes obscured by excessive jargon and difficult syntax. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. C. P. Jamison Armstrong Atlantic State University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2012
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Summaries
Main Description
The formation and operation of systems of power and patronage in Anglo-Saxon England are currently the focus of concerted scholarly attention. This book explores how power is shaped and negotiated in later Anglo-Saxon texts, focusing in particular on how hierarchical, vertical structures are presented alongside patterns of reciprocity and economies of mutual obligation, especially within the context of patronage relationships (whether secular, spiritual, literal or symbolic). Through close analysis of a wide selection of sources in the vernacular and Latin (including the Guthlac poems of the Exeter Book, Old English verse epitaphs, the acrostic poetry of Abbo of Fleury, the Encomium Emmae Reginae and Libellus AEthelwoldi Episcopi), the study examines how texts sustain dual ways of seeing and understanding power, generating a range of imaginative possibilities along with tensions, ambiguities and instances of disguise or euphemism. It also advances new arguments about the ideology and rhetoric of power in the early medieval period. Catherine A. M. Clarke is Senior Lecturer in English, Swansea University.
Unpaid Annotation
New study of the complexities of how power operates in a number of Anglo-Saxon texts.
Main Description
"A work of fine and nuanced intelligence... Skilled and learned readings of a number of important texts. Fluent, polished, and beautifully written." Dr Katy Cubitt, University of York. The formation and operation of systems of power and patronage in Anglo-Saxon England are currently the focus of concerted scholarly attention. This book explores how power is shaped and negotiated in later Anglo-Saxon texts, focusing in particular on how hierarchical, vertical structures are presented alongside patterns of reciprocity and economies of mutual obligation, especially within the context of patronage relationships (whether secular, spiritual, literal or symbolic). Through close analysis of a wide selection of sources in the vernacular and Latin (including the Guthlac poems of the Exeter Book, Old English verse epitaphs, the acrostic poetry of Abbo of Fleury, the Encomium Emmae Reginae and Libellus AEthelwoldi Episcopi), the study examines how texts sustain dual ways of seeing and understanding power, generating a range of imaginative possibilities along with tensions, ambiguities and instances of disguise or euphemism. It also advances new arguments about the ideology and rhetoric of power in the early medieval period. Catherine A. M. Clarke is Senior Lecturer in English, Swansea University.
Bowker Data Service Summary
A new study on the complexities of how power operates in a number of Anglo-Saxon texts.

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