Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Living Death in Medieval French and English Literature


Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Date Published: February 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107003835

£ 62.00

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Medieval literature contains many figures caught at the interface between life and death - the dead return to place demands on the living, while the living foresee, organize or desire their own deaths. Jane Gilbert's original study examines the ways in which certain medieval literary texts, both English and French, use these 'living dead' to think about existential, ethical and political issues. In doing so, she shows powerful connections between works otherwise seen as quite disparate, including Chaucer's Book of the Duchess and Legend of Good Women, the Chanson de Roland and the poems of Francois Villon. Written for researchers and advanced students of medieval French and English literature, this book provides original, provocative interpretations of canonical medieval texts in the light of influential modern theories, especially Lacanian psychoanalysis, presented in an accessible and lively way.

    • Proposes original interpretations of canonical literary works from Chaucer to Francois Villon
    • Explains and contextualizes important modern theories, especially Lacanian psychoanalysis, using them to read medieval works
    • Makes explicit, original and stimulating connections between the Middle Ages and modern thinking, and between English and French tradition in this edgy area
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'The committed reader will be rewarded by the sheer intellectual excitement of a book that gives new meaning to the idea of 'social death'.' Times Higher Education Supplement

    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: February 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107003835
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: living death
    1. Roland and the second death
    2. The knight as thing: courtly love in the non-cyclic prose Lancelot
    3. The Ubi Sunt? Topos in Middle French: sad stories of the death of kings
    4. Ceci n'est pas une marguerite: anamorphosis in Pearl
    5. Becoming woman in Chaucer: on ne naît pas femme, on le devient en mourant
    Conclusion: living dead or dead-in-life?

  • Author

    Jane Gilbert, University College London
    Jane Gilbert is Senior Lecturer in French at University College London.

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.