What was the impact of the Norman Conquest on the culture of medieval and early modern England? Deanne Williams answers this question by contending that not only French language and literature, but the idea of Frenchness itself, produced England's literary and cultural identity. Examining a variety of English representations of, and responses to, France and 'the French' in the work of Chaucer, Caxton, Skelton, Shakespeare and others, this book shows how English literature emerged out of a simultaneous engagement with, and resistance to, the pervasive presence of French language and culture in England that was the legacy of the Norman Conquest. Drawing upon current theories of gender and postcoloniality, this book revises traditional notions of English literary history by inserting France as a primary element in English self-fashioning, from Chaucer's Prioress to Shakespeare's Henry V.
"...the originality of the main thesis, the breadth of learning, the theoretical sophistication, and the conceptual vitality of Deanne Williams all contribute to make her book a reference work that advance courses in the field; it is a landmark study that will influence and redraw English Renaissance studies for a long time."
- Alexandre Leupin, Professor of French Studies at Louisiana State University
Series: Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture
Number Of Pages: 302
Published: 20th December 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.61