Prophecy and Public Affairs in Later Medieval England

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9781903153031: Prophecy and Public Affairs in Later Medieval England

In this first general survey of political prophecy in medieval England for almost a hundred years, Lesley Coote examines the nature of political prophecy, its audience and its reception. She compares the discourse of prophecy with other, related discourses, and demonstrates how it functioned as a political language. A study of extant manuscripts produces an account of the importance of political prophecy in later medieval England, from its emergence in the twelfth century to the end of the middle ages. What emerges from this study is a political language which was neither peripheral to English political consciousness, nor merely a game for intellectuals, but a major language for the discussion of public affairs. In this language were presented ideas of 'Englishness' and the aspirations of a 'national' community, which included the imminent revelation of a great crusading hero-ruler, a second Arthur, who would lead his people into the Last Days. The book is completed with a handlist of manuscripts containing political prophecies.Dr LESLEY A. COOTE is a Research Fellow in the Department of English at the University of Hull.In the first general survey of political prophecy in medieval England for almost a hundred years, Lesley Coote examines the nature of political prophecy, its audience and its reception, from its emergence in the twelfth century to the end of the middle ages. Working from original manuscripts, she reveals prophecy to have been a major language for the discussion of public affairs, enshrining ideas of 'Englishness' and a 'national' community, and introducing a great crusading hero-ruler, a second Arthur, who would lead his people into the Last Days. Valuable research tool: Handlist of manuscripts containing political prophecies.

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This comprehensive survery will prove immediately useful to those working on politics and textuality... a book to be valued and read. --English Historical Review

A detailed study which provides new, valuable insights into the field of political prophecy, and hence should not be neglected by anyone working in the narrow field of medieval prophecy and the wider fields of historiography and history. --English Studies

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