Article

Authority, Constraint, and the Writing of the Medieval Self

Kathryn Kerby-Fulton

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199229123
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199229123.013.0022

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Authority, Constraint, and the Writing of the Medieval Self

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This article examines the genres and the constraint in writing about the self in England during the medieval period. It explains that autobiography is a rare species in the Middle Ages and that despite the late antique models offered by diverse texts, the culture of the Middle Ages did not encourage autobiography that stood alone. It analyses the works of both male and female writers, both clergy and laity, who tried to make their way as medieval selves in an age that valorized interiority and devotion more than materiality.

Keywords: self; autobiography; England; medieval period; medieval culture

Article.  9705 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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