In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Book Reviews79 and Pym herself reminds us of her celebration of the ordinary and the small and in so doing provides the best defense for this addition to the Pym canon: "What is wrong with being obsessed with trivia? Some have criticised The Sweet Dove for this. What are the minds of my critics filled with? What nobler and more worthwhile things?" (260). Indeed she is right. RICHARD A. WIDMAYER College of Idaho JOHN E. KELLER and RICHARD P. KINKADE. Iconography in Medieval Spanish Literature. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1984. 119 p. The most significant comment to be made aboutthis study is that it is simply beautiful. The result of a long-range undertaking by the authors to gather the most significant examples of illustrated manuscripts in medieval Hispanic literature (both Spanish and Portuguese language texts), it is a stunning representation of iconographie art. The plates are reproduced with great care, and Hispanists will be proud to see this wealth of medieval culture shared with colleagues who possess an imperfect appreciation ofthe Hispanic accomplishments of the period. Five major texts are examined: Alfonso El Sabio's hagiographie Las cantigas de Santa Maria, the collection of translation of Arabic narratives El libro de Calila e Digna, the didactic treatise attributed to Sancho IV Castigos e documentos para bien vivir, the chivalric novel El libro del Cavallero Cifar, and the Biblical story La vida de Ysopet con susfabulas hystoriadas. Some of these manuscripts contain illustrations from the time of their original composition; others had graphic materials added in subsequent versions and editions. It is important to note that, as a whole, the five examples chosen are indicative of the main categories of writing in medieval Spain. One's attention is immediately drawn to the discussion of the thirteenthcentury Cantigas, one ofthe crowning achievements of the poetry ofthe period in any language. Typically, Alfonso and his scribes drew on a large inventory of sources in Latin and other languages — poetry, the Bible, the whole growing repertory of Marian literature — and fashioned a cycle of over 400 canticles on topics that define, in a métonymie fashion, the figure of the Virgin. Superficial readings of these religious texts perpetuate the beliefthey are "facile," "ingenious," "unsophisticated." However, as scholars who approach medieval literature with the concepts of contemporary critical theory have shown, the Cantigas are in fact complex poetic texts. Keller-Kinkade's analysis confirms this belief in the examination of the illuminations. The graphic materials are neither adjuncts to the text nor separate works in a different medium. Rather, they are a whole with the text — manuscript and illustration must be studied as an integral structural part of it. This they do by promoting the idea of the illustrations as iconographie: drawings that have a coherent narrative structure that can be analyzed in detail. As a consequence, their discussion, although it draws more by implication from than by overt reference to contemporary narratological 80Rocky Mountain Review postulates, goes beyond the mere cataloguing of superficial detail to comment on the symbolic organization of this rich array of materials. Iconography must, therefore, be greeted enthusiastically as a major scholarly contribution. DAVID WILLIAM FOSTER Arizona State University EARL A. KNIES, ed. Tennyson at Aldworth: The Diary ofJames Henry Mangles. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1984. 155 p. This sampling from J.H. Mangles, Victorian horticulturalist and lawyer, rides Tennysonian coattails to publication. The somewhat misleading title defines Mangles' single claim to literary fame: that his Sussex summer home was situated a quarter of a mile from Tennyson's Aldworth. Between August 1870 and October 1872, Mangles recorded seventeen meetings with Tennyson. Though a cryptic diarist, often in need of Professor Knies' excellent and substantial annotations, Mangles sensed the potential interest such intimate association with the Laureate might occasion. In these diary glimpses he is more careful collector than scrutinizing lawyer. Retrieved from a laundry room and, much later, from the Ohio University Archives, Mangles' diary supplies one man's view of Tennyson at home. An educated but uncritical admirer, Mangles seldom queried the poet about his current projects, but did ask questions readers still pose: Wasn't the line "Dearer than my brothers are to me" in...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 79-80
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.