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The Medieval Revival in Victorian Literature

  • About this Course
  • About this Lecturer

About this Course

This wide-ranging course examines why so many writers and artists of the Victorian period were so obsessed with the Middle Ages, a concept known as 'Medievalism'. We begin by exploring the work of Walter Scott, whose pseudo-historical novels such as ‘Ivanhoe’ (1820) popularised a particular version of the Middle Ages. After that, we look at the work of Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-92), who was particularly interested in Arthurian legend, as well as William Morris (1834-96), who began creating his own worlds from scratch. The course ends by looking at the work of J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973), whose fantasy novels are situate in the entirely created world of Middle Earth.

About the Lecturer

Gabriel Schenk is in the final year of his DPhil at Pembroke College, Oxford. His thesis is on 'Literary Translations of King Arthur in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries'.