Seminar Three

Patronage as Condition of Textual Production and Preservation

Patronage is almost the sine qua non of medieval literary production, and it is important to understand this in considering the rhetoric of how texts position and characterize themselves. But the relations between patrons, writers, texts and what they commemorate are complex and multi-directional. Here we study texts that inscribe within themselves the patronage of both earthly and heavenly lords and which claim their own powers from both their patrons and their subjects.


  1. Gaimar, The History of the English, epilogue, ed and tr Ian Short, Speculum 69 (1994), 323-43 (p. 325 (text), pp. 341-3 translation).
  2. Matthew Paris (monk of St Albans, d.1259), The Life of St Edmund, prologue and epilogue. (text in photocopy, translation by e-mail)
  3. Matthew Paris, The History of St Edward the King, prologue (text in photocopy, translation by email: note however that the MS of this life, not Paris’s holograph but closely modelled on his format of text and illustrations, is available on the web: google to Cambridge University Library Manuscripts and then to Edward the Confessor: the manuscript number is MS Ee.3.59. It’s important to look at the format of this beautiful MS so as to see the different kinds of textual, audio and visual literacies envisaged in its layout).
  4. Hue de Roteland, Protheselaus, prologue (text in photocopy, translation by email).


  1. Ian Short, ‘Patrons and Polyglots: French Literature in Twelfth-Century England’, Anglo-Norman Studies 14 (1991), pp. 229-49. (The classic study and starting point of much subsequent work).
  2. Pierre Nora, Rethinking France:Les Lieux de mémoire, tr. Mary Trouille (Chicago and London:University of Chicago Press, 2001), pp. vii-xxxiii.


Please read and note the primary texts and come prepared to discuss them.

For translation, please prepare lines 45-69 of Hue de Rotelande’s Protheslaus (you have translations supplied for the rest of the extracts from Protheslaus).

We would like everyone to read and note Short, and would like a 5 minute report on Nora.