Book ID: CBB981270345

Alchemy and Exemplary Poetry in Middle English Literature (2023)


Runstedler, Curtis (Author)

Palgrave Macmillan

Publication Date: 2023
Physical Details: 298
Language: English

This book explores the different functions and metaphorical concepts of alchemy in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Middle English poetry and bridges them together with the exempla tradition in late medieval English literature. Such poetic narratives function as exemplary models which directly address the ambiguity of medieval English alchemical practice. This book examines the foundation of this relationship between alchemical narrative and exemplum in the poetry of Gower and Chaucer in the fourteenth century before exploring its diffusion in lesser-known anonymous poems and recipes in the fifteenth century, namely alchemical dialogues between Morienus and Merlin, Albertus Magnus and the Queen of Elves, and an alchemical version of John Lydgate’s poem The Churl and the Bird. It investigates how this exemplarity can be read as inherent to understanding poetic narratives containing alchemy, as well as enabling the reader to reassess the understanding and expectations of science and narrative within medieval English poetry.

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Authors & Contributors
Maroscia, Paolo
Burns, E. Jane
Edwards, Michael
Elliott, Paul
Elshtain, Eric P.
Goldie, Matthew Boyd
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
University of Chicago
Bollati Boringhieri
Cornell University Press
Manchester University Press
Poetry and poetics
Science and literature
Metaphors; analogies
English language
Medicine and literature
Darwin, Charles Robert
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Blake, William
Bradwardine, Thomas
Buridan, Jean
Calvino, Italo
Time Periods
14th century
15th century
16th century
Rome (Italy)
Great Britain
Oxford University

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