Changing times in the cultural discourse of late Medieval England

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The author reassesses critical assumptions concerning ways to read time perceptions in the Middle Ages. A comprehensive synthesis of existing scholarship is offered as a means to scrutinize the multiple methods used by modern commentators and as a means to demonstrate the complexity and interconnectivity of cultural discourse in the medieval period. An integration of specialist approaches results in an essay with a wide coverage of primary sources. The focus on English examples— with close readings of how literary texts, religious writings, church records, legal documents, chronicles, letters, the computus genre, and the role of mnemonics— reveals the multiplicity of ways by which collective and individual attitudes towards time are instilled, communicated, explored, developed, confused, and at times subverted, in cultural discourse. This reading of timepieces as cultural narratives offers a new dimension in the study of medieval expressions of time. The essay also indicates possible directions for future study in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-454
Number of pages20
JournalViator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

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