The Middle Ages embraces a wide period of history, and there is always a danger of labelling it simply as ‘the medieval’ or (worse) the ‘Dark Ages’, terms which suggest a false level of homogeneity about the period and its literature. Instead, and more profitably, we might think of the Middle Ages as a period of great variety and richness that can be best appreciated through its vibrant literary culture. As the essays in this collection show, medieval literature is wonderfully diverse in form but also deeply rich in ideas, history and meaning.
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