Anke Bernau

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199229123
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature


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This article examines writings about originary myths and the stories of the people in England during the medieval period. It explains that these myths and stories they proclaimed a people's glorious ancestry and they provided a means of understanding or creating a paradigm for communal and national self-understanding and cohesion. Stories of beginnings also allowed writers and audiences to conceptualize and imagine Britishness in multiple ways, for multiple purposes.

Keywords: originary myths; England; medieval period; glorious ancestry; self-understanding; Britishness

Article.  10467 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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