15 October, 2013

Recently Reviewed: Early Modern Medievalisms

I recently reviewed Montoya, Alicia C., Sophie van Romburgh, and Wim van Anrooj, eds. Early Modern Medievalisms: The Interplay between Scholarly Reflection and Artistic Production (Brill, 2010), for The Spenser Review.

This expertly edited collection of essays offers a wide range of case studies to establish the value of the quickly growing paradigm of Medievalism Studies for the early modern period. As one might expect, the editors take on the notion, inimical to their project and characteristic of much work in the field, that medievalism really should be seen as a post-Romantic phenomenon, perhaps even a phenomenon that cannot receive proper scholarly attention until after the 1840s, when the term “medievalism” enters the (English) vocabulary.  Montoya, van Romburgh, and van Anrooj make short shrift of such views, positing that, even without an actual term that comprises a more or less conscious reaction to the medieval past, early modern culture produced its own kind of medieval reception for which, in closer proximity to the medieval period itself, “what we today identify as the medieval may have continued unobserved and uninterrupted in certain fields, while being considered a thing of the (imagined) past, for good or ill, in others” (3). Moreover... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE