English Medieval Misericords

The Margins of Meaning

Paul Hardwick

A comprehensive survey of the intriguing misericord carvings, setting them in their religious context and looking at their different themes and motifs.
Date Published :
April 2013
Publisher :
Boydell and Brewer
Series :
Boydell Studies in Medieval Art and Architecture
Illustration :
32 black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781843836599
Pages : 198
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781843838272
Pages : 200
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : Available


Misericord carvings present a fascinating corpus of medieval art which, in turn, complements our knowledge of life and belief in the late middle ages. Subjects range from the sacred to the profane and from the fantastic to the everyday, seemingly giving equal weight to the scatological and the spiritual alike. Focusing specifically on England - though with cognisance of broader European contexts - this volume offers an analysis of misericords in relation to other cultural artefacts of the period. Through a series of themed "case studies", the book places misericords firmly within the doctrinal and devotional milieu in which they were created and sited, arguing that even the apparently coarse images to be found beneath choir stalls are intimately linked to the devotional life of the medieval English Church. The analysis is complemented by a gazetteer of the most notable instances. Dr Paul Hardwick is Professor in English, Leeds Trinity University College.


Introduction: What Lies BeneathA Fair Field of FolkDoctrine and DebateInfluence and InventionMasculinity and PowerExemplary AnimalsThe Monsters at the MarginsConclusion: Looking Both WaysGazetteerBibliography

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