Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Malory's Grail Seekers and Fifteenth-Century English Hagiography

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Malory's Grail Seekers and Fifteenth-Century English Hagiography

Article excerpt

Alfred Robert Kraemer, Malory's Grail Seekers and Fifteenth-Century English Hagiography, Studies in the Humanities: Literature - Politics - Society 44 (New York: Peter Lang, 1999). x + 129 pp. ISBN 0-8204-41236. L25.00.

In his study of Sir Thomas Malory's Grail story and contemporary English hagiography, Alfred Robert Kraemer challenges the critical view first put forth by Eugene Vinaver, that Malory was less interested in the religious morality he found in his source, the French La Quete du saint Graal, than in presenting `earthly chivalry'. Kraemer starts with a survey of up-to-date criticism of Malory's Grail story and states that a new reassessment is needed in order to ascertain the expectations of a fifteenth-century audience from an (essentially) religious story. Chapter ii contains a review of previous research into fifteenth-century book ownership and of the reading patterns that may be perceived from evidence of wills. In chapter iii Kraemer identifies the characteristics of fifteenth-century saints' lives in the works of Bokenham, Capgrave, and Lydgate, focusing on the themes of lineage (aristocratic or royal), chastity, and miraculous events. …

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