IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1323: Eat, Read, and Be Merry?: Social Pleasure and Its Implications in Late Medieval England and France

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions in Europe, 1100-1800, University of Western Australia
Organiser:Philippa Maddern, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, University of Western Australia
Moderator/Chair:Megan Cassidy-Welch, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Monash University, Victoria
Paper 1323-aReading and Receiving Pleasure: The Book as Gift in Late Medieval England and France
(Language: English)
Stephanie Downes, School of Culture & Communication, University of Melbourne
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Mentalities, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1323-bPersonal Taste and Social Threat in Malory's Morte Darthur
(Language: English)
Melissa Raine, Independent Scholar, Victoria
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Mentalities, Social History
Paper 1323-c'Be mery […] and eate your mete lyke a woman': Merriment, Health, and Salvation in Late Medieval English Texts
(Language: English)
Philippa Maddern, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, University of Western Australia
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Mentalities, Social History
Abstract

These three papers explore, from different perspectives, positive and negative social connotations of late medieval pleasure experiences. Stephanie Downes’ paper investigates the sentimental values attached to public gifts of books in late medieval England and France, and the power of the gift to articulate the donor-recipient relationship. Melissa Raine’s paper analyses instances in Arthurian literature where individual bodily pleasure in eating is represented as disrupting social ideals. Philippa Maddern’s paper examines how meanings attributed to the word ‘merry’ in late medieval English texts extend beyond mere expressions of pleasurable emotion to notions of health, social harmony, and salvation.