Posted May 20th 2021

The Gift of Narrative in Medieval England

Congratulations to St Hugh’s Tutorial Fellow Nicholas Perkins, whose book, The Gift of Narrative Medieval England, was recently published by Manchester University Press.

This book places medieval romance narrative in dialogue with theories and practices of gift and exchange, opening new approaches to questions of storytelling, agency, gender and materiality in some of the most engaging literature from the Middle Ages, works by Chaucer and the Gawain-Poet, and other much less known poetry ranging from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries.

Nick said, “The origins of this book go back to my previous research on advice for kings and princes, and also to my teaching about medieval romances, since gift objects and exchange are crucial to how these texts think about relationships, both inside the narrative, and outwards to their audience. Conversations with my colleagues and students here at St Hugh’s and before that at Girton College, Cambridge have really helped to make it what it is. The book’s written both for scholars and students, and I hope that it will help people to understand these texts, and others too, as dynamic conversations, where moments of telling, listening and understanding can be gifts in themselves.”

Nick holds a joint appointment with the Faculty of English, where he is Associate Professor in Medieval English literature. As a Tutorial Fellow at St Hugh’s Nick teaches English literature and language from the Anglo-Saxon period to the sixteenth century. His previous books include The Romance of the Middle Ages (with Alison Wiggins); and Medieval Romance and Material Culture.

For more information and to purchase the book:  https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526139917/ and Nick has written a blog post about it here:   https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/blog/2021/03/01/the-gift-of-narrative-in-medieval-england/