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162 Reviews Eckstein saying that 'the daily assault on human flesh and all physical facts of life are not simply battles of words'. Though insistent that her position is far from 'a critical proclivity toward exalting language above all things' (p. 9), nevertheless the argument about the cruelty of rhetoric does intermittently veer in that hyperlinguistic direction, and especially in the long central chapter. However, behind Enders' pursuit of her argument is, she explains, another contention that there is 'a more universal aesthetics of cruelty that rhetoric helps us to identity because so much of cruelty is indigenous to rhetoric' (p. 232). However, her means of bringing the three main areas of concern together, and of laying before her readers a persuasive argument embedding rhetoric in violence, too often appear to depend on energy and ingenuity in elaborating verbal connections between rhetoric and violence, pain and torture. After reading this book one cannot deny that horror may, like comedy, both teach and delight, but not all readers will be convinced that rhetoric is itself best understood as a form of violence, even though they may have had its rules beaten into them, or leamt them on pain ofpunishment. Ann Blake School ofEnglish LaTrobe University Field, Rosalind, ed., Tradition and Transformation in Medieval Romance, Cambridge, D. S. Brewer, 1999; cloth; pp. xv, 172; R R P £40, US$75; ISBN 0859915530. Tradition and Transformation brings together papers from the fifth confer on Romance in Medieval England. As with the two preceding volumes, the collection focuses on non-Arthurian romances within their historical background. The papers deal with medieval romances from the Romance ofHorn to Valentine and Orson, and also with romance elements in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and in Gower's Confessio Amantis. Fresh insights are provided into topics ranging from history of reception, textual analysis, manuscript production, to the early editions of these texts and the development and changes medieval romances underwent through centuries of printing and (sometimes) censorship. Judith Weiss's analysis of the literary and historical context of the AngloNorman Romance of Horn focuses on the rescue sequences in Gesta Herwardi Reviews 163 and Horn. Weiss convincingly argues for thematic similarities between the two texts, despite the difference in time of composition, language and area of circulation. Gamelyn is the topic of Stephen Knight's investigation of textual issues in this romance. Knight emphasises the oft-missed dynamism of the verse, in which 'patterns of mobility' may be identified (p. 19). Thematic links between Gamelyn and the Robin Hood ballads are to be found in both heroes' 'ignoring [of] and mastering [of] the values of the town' (p. 23). The new ideas put forth in this essay suggest that a more in-depth analysis of Gamelyn is needed in order to assess the literary qualities of this poem, as well as its links with other thematically-related romances. Diane Speed's essay links folktale elements in the Gesta Romanorum and Middle English romances, especially in Guy of Warwick. Speed argues against strict boundaries between romances and exempla, suggesting new ways of exploring the links between Latin and the vernacular, between the transmission and use of the text until William Caxton's and Wynkyn de Worde's editions of the Gesta. Elizabeth Williams focuses on the unusual similarity in terms of folktale elements in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight and Sir Amadace; while Philippa Hardman offers a new reading of the Sege of Melayne and its treatment of Charlemagne. Elizabeth Archibald's essay on 'The Ide and Olive Episode in Lord Bemers's Huon ofBurdeux' brings into discussion a unique combination of two motifs, cross-dressing and incest, in Middle English romances. Archibald tackles the problematic issue ofcross-dressing within the context of late medieval social pressures that insist on clearly marked differences of gender and status. The heroine, Ide, flees from her father, disguises as a man, and becomes a warrior. Yet Ide's reward for her service is to marry the daughter ofthe Emperor of Rome. In similar romances heroines discover they are in love with another woman, and the problem is solved through divine intervention, the female character instantly becoming a man. In Berners...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 162-164
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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