Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Shaping the Archive in Late Medieval England
History, Poetry, and Performance

$105.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107177055

$ 105.00 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Sarah Elliott Novacich explores how medieval thinkers pondered the ethics and pleasures of the archive. She traces three episodes of sacred history - the loss of Eden, the loading of Noah's ark, and the Harrowing of Hell - across works of poetry, performance records, and iconography in order to demonstrate how medieval artists turned to sacred history to think through aspects of cultural transmission. Performances of the loss of Eden blur the relationship between original and record; stories of Noah's ark foreground the difficulty of compiling inventories; and engagements with the Harrowing of Hell suggest the impossibility of separating the past from the present. Reading Middle English plays alongside chronicles, poetry, and works of visual art, Shaping the Archive in Late Medieval England considers how poetic form, staging logistics, and the status of performance all contribute to our understanding of the ways in which medieval thinkers imagined the archive.

    • Offers important new insights into the ways in which three of the most significant episodes from sacred history - the loss of Eden, the loading of Noah's Ark and the Harrowing of Hell - were re-imagined in the Medieval period
    • Presents a comprehensive theory of how the reworking of images and ideas constitutes an 'archive of the imaginary'
    • Links imaginative reconstructions of significant episodes of sacred history across genres and forms, including poetry, prose and drama
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'The examples she [Novacich] chooses out of representations of sacred history in drama and poetry offer an elegant case study of how literature might explicate a historical crisis, providing a brilliant argument for even greater exchange between fields in the humanities.' Hannah Leah Crummé, Renaissance Quarterly

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107177055
    • length: 230 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Model worlds
    2. Ark and archive
    3. Uxor Noe and the drowned
    4. Infernal archive
    5. The Harrowing of Hell: closure and rehearsal.

  • Author

    Sarah Elliott Novacich, Rutgers University, New Jersey
    Sarah Elliott Novacich is an assistant professor at Rutgers University, New Jersey, where she specializes in medieval literature. Her research interests include poetry, drama, gender studies, and visual culture.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.