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Empire of Magic


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Table of Contents

Introduction: In the Beginning Was Romance History as Romance: The Genesis of a Medieval Genre 1. Cannibalism, the First Crusade, and the Genesis of Medieval Romance: Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain Popular Romance: A National Fiction 2. The Romance of England: Richard Coer de Lyon and the Politics of Race, Religion, Sexuality, and Nation Chivalric/Heroic Romance: Defending Elite Men and Bodies 3. Warring Against Modernity: Masculinity and Chivalry in Crisis; or, The Alliterative Morte Arthure's Romance Anatomy of the Crusades Family Romance/Hagiographic Romance: A Matter of Women (and Children) 4. Beauty and the East, a Modern Love Story: Women, Children, and Imagined Communities in The Man of Law's Tale and Its Others Travel Romance/Ethnographic Romance: Mapping the World and Home 5. Eye on the World: Mandeville's Pleasure Zones; or, Cartography, Anthropology, and Medieval Travel Romance

Promotional Information

Empire of Magic is expansive in scope, spanning the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries, and detailed in coverage, examining various types of romance-historical, national, popular, chivalric, family, and travel romances, among others-to see how cultural fantasy responds to changing crises, pressures, and demands in a number of different ways. Boldly controversial, theoretically sophisticated, and historically rooted, Empire of Magic is a dramatic restaging of the role romance played in the culture of a period and world in ways that suggest how cultural fantasy still functions for us today.

About the Author

Geraldine Heng is director of medieval studies at the University of Texas at Austin and associate professor of English and Comparative Literature. Her articles have appeared in PMLA, differences, Genders, and the Yale Journal of Criticism.


"Heng offers a broad-reaching study of the intellectual and cultural origins of medieval romance... She is especially good at isolating and explaining the historical points of contact between West and East." -- Choice "Her observations about literature, which are everywhere cogent and show the presence of a subtle and wide-ranging sensibility" -- John Block Friedman, Kent State University, Speculum " Empire of Magic is a book that will set the terms of debate on medieval postcolonialism for some time to come. It is a must read." -- Laurie A. Finke, Arthuriana " Empire of Magic is on of the most thorough - and thoroughly engaging - examples to date in the emerging theoretical field of "postcolonial medievalism."... Heng's Empire of Magic is a "must read." " Empire of Magic is a... fascinating study of medieval romance." -- Forum for Modern Language Studies "Fearless and provocative... Heng's scholarship and sweep are admirable. This is a must-read." -- Christine Chism, Studies in the Age of Chaucer

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