Monday, August 17, 2009

MSAM: Quest for Camelot Redivivus

Amazingly, the web site for the 1998 Warner Bros. animated film Quest for Camelot is still active (or, at least, mostly active). There is a lot of information on the site about the making of the film, a trailer, production stills, and coloring pages for the young at heart. There are also interviews with the cast on site, and I believe they are all included on the DVD release of the film.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

MMSM: Bernauu and Bildhauer's Medieval Film

Here are the details on another long-awaited book coming out this fall from Manchester University Press.

Medieval Film
Edited by Anke Bernau and Bettina Bildhauer

216x138mm 224pp
hb 9780719077029 01 September 2009 £55 / $84.95

This book examines why and how cinematic representations of the Middle Ages remain a popular, mainstream phenomenon.

Instead of taking the usual approach of focusing on the issue of historical accuracy, this collection explores wider theoretical questions about the ideological, artistic, emotional and financial investments inhering in cinematic renditions of the medieval period. What does it mean to create and watch a ‘medieval film’? What is a medieval film and why are they successful? This is the first work that attempts to answer these questions, drawing, for instance, on film theory, postcolonial theory, cultural studies and the growing body of work on medievalism. Contributors investigate British, German, Italian, Australian, French, Swedish and American film, exploring topics such translation, temporality, film noir, framing and period film – and find the medieval lurking in unexpected corners. In addition it provides in-depth studies of individual films from different countries; these range from The Birth of a Nation to Nosferatu, from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves to Kingdom of Heaven. This interdisciplinary collection should become essential reading for all those interested in cinema’s complex relationship to history.

*Medieval film* will be of part interest to medievalists working in a range of disciplines including literature, history, art history; to scholars working on medievalism; as well as to scholars working on film and in cultural studies. This book will also be of interest to undergraduates at all levels, as well as to postgraduates and to an informed lay enthusiast in film or/and medieval culture.

List of figures
List of contributors
The a-chronology of medieval film (Bettina Bildhauer and Anke Bernau)
1. Cinematic authenticity-effects and medieval art: a paradox (Sarah Salih)
2. Forward into the past: film as a medieval medium (Bettina Bildhauer)
3. A time of translation: linguistic difference and cinematic medievalism (Carol O’Sullivan)
4. ‘Poison to the infant, but tonic to the man’: timing The Birth of a Nation (Anke Bernau)
5. The medieval imaginary in Italian films (Marcia Landy)
6. Towards a theory of medieval film music (Alison Tara Walker)
7. Border skirmishes: weaving around the Bayeux Tapestry and cinema in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves and El Cid (Richard Burt)
8. Medieval noir: anatomy of a metaphor (John Ganim)
9. ‘Medievalism’, the period film and the British past in contemporary cinema (Andrew Higson)
Further reading

"This important essay collection confirms that 'medieval film' is worthy of intense scholarly scrutiny. The introduction and nine chapters consider medieval history, literature, language, music and culture in light of their uses on film, along with film history, and literary and film criticism. Here the visual meets the visionary and the modern, the medieval: subtitles and soundtracks are considered along with a range of visual and verbal signifiers that convey the medieval world to modern audiences. "
Martha W. Driver, Professor of English at Pace University

Dr Anke Bernau is Lecturer in Medieval Literature and Culture at the University of Manchester. Dr Bettina Bildhauer is Lecturer in German at the University of St. Andrews.

Friday, August 14, 2009

MMSM: Cinematic Illuminations update

Here is a follow-up to an earlier post on this book. Book details at the John Hopkins University Press website (pb./hc.):

Cinematic Illuminations: The Middle Ages on Film
Laurie A. Finke and Martin B. Shichtman

November 2009 464 pp., 20 halftones

November 2009 464 pp., 20 halftones

This engaging new study analyzes cinematic treatments of the Middle Ages within a diverse range of popular and artistic films.

At a time when students have more experience with watching movies than with reading and evaluating literature and history, Cinematic Illuminations harnesses the power of popular culture to make accessible a period that often seems forbidding and remote. From The Seventh Seal and The Lion in Winter to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the authors examine the ways in which the twentieth century has reimagined medieval times. Such analysis brings to life for students the literature, poetry, history, and art of the Middle Ages.

Drawing from current critical approaches to both medieval and film studies, Laurie A. Finke and Martin B. Shichtman focus on two main issues of historical film. First is the inherent tension between the artifice required by film to create historical reality and the accuracy central to claims of history. Second are the ways iconography and filming conventions rewrite our understanding of the historical period portrayed in the film. In this case, the authors ask, how do contemporary representations of the Middle Ages influence cultural fantasies about our own time? Their detailed and accessible readings reveal just how strongly medieval history continues to resonate with modern audiences.

Cinematic Illuminations offers medievalists, literary and cultural theorists, and film theorists and buffs a fresh approach to understanding how popular culture interprets and makes use of the past through the medium of film.

"The authors' nuanced and detailed analysis of an amazing diversity of medieval films... in their political and cultural contexts artfully supports their assertion that medieval films offer us 'a different way of thinking about the past as well as the present.'" -- Susan Aronstein, author of Hollywood Knights: Arthurian Cinema and the Politics of Nostalgia

Laurie A. Finke is a professor of women's and gender studies at Kenyon College. Martin B. Shichtman is a professor of English language and literature at Eastern Michigan University. Professors Finke and Shichtman have collaborated on numerous publications, including King Arthur and the Myth of History and Medieval Texts and Contemporary Readers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MMSM: Cinema Arthuriana: 20 Essays now in paperback

I missed this the other day. McFarland is re-releasing Kevin J. Harty's collection Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays in a paperback edition later this year. The hardcover edition (2002) and Harty's earlier collection King Arthur on Film (1999) both now seem to be out of print, though Barne& does have copies of both in stock as of today and has copies avaiable of King Arthur on Film.

Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays, rev. ed.
Edited by Kevin J. Harty

ISBN 978-0-7864-4683-4
photos, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
317pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2009 [2002]
Price: $49.95
Not Yet Published, Available Fall/Winter 2009

The legends of King Arthur have not only endured for centuries, but also flourished in constant retellings and new stories built around the central themes of the legends. Clearly, soon after movie-making was underway, Arthur was destined to hit the screen.

This revised edition of Cinema Arthuriana presents 20 essays on the topic of the recurring presence of the legend of King Arthur in film and television from 1904 to 2001. Four of the essays included are taken directly from the previous edition, ten are revised from the original, and six are newly written. The essays cover such films as Excalibur (1981), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), television productions up to the televised version of The Mists of Avalon (2001), and French and German films about the Quest for the Holy Grail and the other adventures of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Table of Contents (Rpt=Reprint; Rev=Revised)
Preface 1
The Contributors 3
1) Cinema Arthuriana: An Overview (Rev)--Kevin J. Harty 7
2) Mythopoeia in Excalibur (Rpt)--Norris J. Lacy 34
3) Fire, Water, Rock: Elements of Setting in John Boorman's Excalibur and Steve Barron's Merlin (Rev)--Muriel Whitaker 44
4) Morgan and the Problem of Incest (Rev)--Jacqueline de Weever 54
5) An Enemy in Our Midst: The Black Knight and the American Dream(Rpt)--Alan Lupack 64
6) Tortilla Flat and the Arthurian View--John Christopher Kleis 71
7) The Retreat from Camelot: Adapting Bernard Malamud's The Natural to Film--Barbara Tepa Lupack 80
8) Cinematic American Camelots Lost and Found: The Film Versions of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and George Romero's Knightriders (Rev)--Kevin J. Harty 96
9) The Ironic Tradition in Four Arthurian Films (Rpt)--Raymond H. Thompson 110
10)Two Films That Sparkle: The Sword in the Stone and Camelot (Rev)--Alice Grellner 118
11) Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Madness with a Definite Method--David D. Day 127
12) Not Dead Yet: Monty Python and the Holy Grail in the Twenty-first Century--Donald L. Hoffman 136
13) The Arthurian Legend in French Cinema: Robert Bresson's Lancelot du Lac and Eric Rohmer's Perceval le Gallois (Rev)--Jeff Rider et al. 149
14) From Stage to Screen: The Dramatic Compulsion in French Cinema and Denis Llorca's Les Chevaliers de la table ronde (1990)--Sandra Gorgievski 163
15) Blank, Syberberg, and the German Arthurian Tradition (Rpt)--Ulrich Müller 177
16) Gawain on Film (The Remake): Thames Television Strikes Back (Rev)--Robert J. Blanch and Julian N. Wasserman 185
17) Will the "Reel" Mordred Please Stand Up? Strategies for Representing Mordred in American and British Arthurian Film--Michael A. Torregrossa 199
18) Filming the Tristan Myth (Rev)--Meradith T. McMunn 211
19) Fable and Poesie in Cocteau's L'Eternel Retour (1943)--Joan Tasker Grimbert 220
20) Arms and Armor in Arthurian Films (Rev)--Helmut Nickel 235
21) Cinema Arthuriana: A Comprehensive Filmography and Bibliography (Rev)--Kevin J. Harty 252
Index 303

About the Author
Kevin J. Harty is professor and chair of English at La Salle University in Philadelphia and associate editor of Arthuriana, the official journal of the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society, of which he is also the vice president. He is the author or editor of eleven books on such topics as film and medieval studies.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

MSAM: New books on Shakespeare adaptations

Earlier this year, I posted on Martha Driver and Sid Ray's latest books from McFarland, Shakespeare and the Middle Ages: Essays on the Performance and Adaptation of the Plays with Medieval Sources or Settings. McFarland has also published two other books that address modern adaptions of Shakespeare's medieval plays.

Apocalyptic Shakespeare: Essays on Visions of Chaos and Revelation in Recent Film Adaptations
Edited by Melissa Croteau and Carolyn Jess-Cooke

ISBN 978-0-7864-3392-6
9 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
244pp. softcover 2009
Price: $39.95

This collection of essays examines the ways in which recent Shakespeare films portray anxieties about an impending global wasteland, technological alienation, spiritual destruction, and the effects of globalization. Films covered include Titus, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Almereyda’s Hamlet, Revengers Tragedy, Twelfth Night, The Passion of the Christ, Radford’s The Merchant of Venice, The Lion King, and Godard’s King Lear, among others that directly adapt or reference Shakespeare. Essays chart the apocalyptic mise-en-scènes, disorienting imagery, and topsy-turvy plots of these films, using apocalypse as a theoretical and thematic lens.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction: Beginning at the Ends

1. The “great doom’s image”: Apocalyptic Trajectories in Contemporary Shakespearean Filmmaking
2. Apocalyptic Paternalism, Family Values, and the War of the Cinemas; or, How Shakespeare Became Posthuman
3. Liberty’s Taken, or How “captive women may be cleansed and used”: Julie Taymor’s Titus and 9/11
4. Post-Apocalyptic Spaces in Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet
5. Celluloid Revelations: Millennial Culture and Dialogic
“Pastiche” in Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet (2000)
6. The Revenger’s Tragedy in 2002: Alex Cox’s Punk Apocalypse
7. The Plague in Filmed Versions of Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night
8. The Politics of Apocalypse: Interrogating Conversion in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and Michael Radford’s The Merchant of Venice
9. Disney’s “War Efforts”: The Lion King and Education for Death; or, Shakespeare Made Easy for Your Apocalyptic Convenience
10. Four Funerals and a Bedding: Freud and the Post-Apocalyptic Apocalypse of Jean-Luc Godard’s King Lear
11. “The Promised End” of Cinema: Portraits of Apocalypse in Post-Millennial Shakespearean Film

About the Contributors 229
Index 231

About the Author
Melissa Croteau is an associate professor of literature and film studies at California Baptist University. Carolyn Jess-Cooke is a senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Northumbria. She lives in Tyne and Wear, England.

Shakespeare as Children’s Literature: Edwardian Retellings in Words and Pictures
Velma Bourgeois Richmond

ISBN 978-0-7864-3781-8
40 photos, tables, notes, bibliography, index
371pp. softcover 2008
Price: $35.00

Although William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, he traditionally receives little notice in studies of children’s literature. However, there is a fascinating relationship between Shakespeare and children’s interests, and the Bard’s works have been successfully adapted for children’s use over several centuries.

This book continues and parallels the author’s previous study, Chaucer as Children’s Literature, as part of a greater endeavor to evaluate the significance of traditional literature retold as children’s literature in modern English studies. It examines the ways in which William Shakespeare’s stories have been adapted for children, particularly in Mary and Charles Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare, which was almost immediately recognized as a classic of children’s literature when it was first published in 1807. The author describes the significance of the Lamb’s Tales as the pre-eminent children’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s literature, focusing particularly on the lavishly illustrated Edwardian editions which used pictures to convey Shakespeare’s stories for children.

Other topics include Victorian alternatives to the Lambs’ stories, including anthologies from David Murray Smith, Abby Sage Richardson, and Mary Seymour; the lavish illustrations of Shakespeare’s stories found in antique English textbooks; Shakespeare in nursery books, including sophisticated collections from Mary Macleod, Thomas Carter, Alice S. Hoffman, and other noted authors; and Shakespeare in multi-volume American collections, including The Children’s Hour, Journeys through Bookland, and The Junior Classics.

Table of Contents

Preface 1

1. Contexts for Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare 7
2. The Tradition of Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare 25
3. Lamb’s Tales Continued: Completion, Addition, and Selection 71
4. Victorian Alternatives 110
5. Edwardian Elegance and Exuberance: Retellings Large and Small 155
6. Shakespeare in Schoolbooks 230
7. Home Libraries, Literary Histories, and Pedagogical Advice 273

Epilogue 321
Tables 325
Chapter Notes 333
Selected Bibliography 345
Index 351

About the Author
Velma Bourgeois Richmond is professor emerita at Holy Names College, Oakland, California. She lives in Berkeley, California.

MMSM: New books from McFarland (2006-2009)

Here are the details on five recent books from McFarland and three recent updates. All eight can be ordered directly from McFarland.

The Literature of Hope in the Middle Ages and Today: Connections in Medieval Romance, Modern Fantasy, and Science Fiction
Flo Keyes

ISBN 978-0-7864-2596-9
bibliography, index
205pp. softcover 2006
Price: $39.95

The influence of medieval literature is instantly apparent in modern fantasy literature, where knights and wizards populate castle-strewn landscapes. Less obvious but still recognizable is the influence in science fiction, which draws on medieval story structure and themes. Beyond these superficial similarities, deeper connections become evident through an analysis of the literature’s social function. Like the fantasy and science fiction of today, the romances of the Middle Ages were written in times of extreme and prolonged social upheaval. In all three genres, the storytellers draw on the same archetypes—the hero, the quest, the transformation—for stories whose goal is to provide hope.

Using Jungian theory and comparative analysis, this book explores the connections between the three genres. It finds common ground among them in plots that often reflect the recurring cycle of life and the elements of psychological rather than literal realism. Representative texts such as Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, the Witch World series by Andre Norton and More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon are examined in depth, and the use of archetypes in each is thoroughly explored. Analysis reveals similarities in images, structures, and the pervasive belief that a perfectible universe is within man’s capabilities—if not now, then someday.

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5

1. In Pursuit of the Elusive Literary Definition 11
2. What Need of a Candle Unless It Is Dark 21
3. Pawns in the Game of Kings 29
4. Five Centuries Later, Still Looking for the Light 38
5. The Hero 50
6. Lights, Camera, Action 63
7. Archetypes, or Why Does This Seem Familiar? 75
8. There and Back Again: The Archetypal Journey 85
9. Will Wonders Never Cease? 101
10. And a Little Child Shall Lead Them 116
11. The Voice of Experience: The Wise Old Man 128
12. Cutting the Apron Strings: The Great Mother 141
13. Phoenix from the Ashes: The Transformation 155
14. A Light in the Darkness 167
15. Hope Springs Eternal 178

Bibliography 187
Index 193

About the Author
Flo Keyes is an assistant professor in the English department at Castleton State College in Castleton, Vermont. She lives in Poultney, Vermont.

Pasolini, Chaucer and Boccaccio: Two Medieval Texts and Their Translation to Film Agnès Blandeau

ISBN 978-0-7864-2247-0
appendices, notes, bibliography, index
218pp. softcover 2006
Price: $35.00
Pier Pasolini’s “trilogy of life” is a series of film adaptations of major texts of the past: The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales, and One Thousand and One Nights. The movies demonstrate a film author’s acute aesthetic sensibility through a highly original cinematic rendering of the sources. The first two films, closely examined in this book, offer a personal, purposefully stylized vision of the Middle Ages, as though Pasolini were dreaming Boccaccio’s and Chaucer’s texts through the filter of his “heretic” consciousness. The unusual poetic visualization of the source works, which could be described as irreverent cinematic homage, has the potential to renew the traditional reading of such literature.

This book shows how cinema becomes an alternative form of storytelling. It first studies the two films in detail, putting them in perspective within the trilogy. Next it interprets them, recounting misinterpretations and expounding upon Pasolini’s ideological perception, and defends the oft-criticized adaptations. Finally, it discusses how the films represent innovation over strict adaptation. Appendices offer charts with information on the narrative structures of the films and the correspondences between them.

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5

1. I Racconti di Canterbury: The Film Text of The Canterbury Tales 11
2. Placing I Racconti di Canterbury in Perspective with The Decameron 49
3. Il Fiore delle mille e una notte: The Last Panel of the Triptych 86

4. The Shock of Pasolini’s Trilogy 89
5. A Trans-semiotization: The Subversive Intention in I Racconti di Canterbury 97
6. Eloquent Pictures 111
7. A Defense of Adaptation 140

Conclusion 155
Appendix 1: Chart Showing Narrative Structure of I Racconti di Canterbury in Text and Film 165
Appendix 2: Chart Showing Narrative Structure of The Decameron in Text and Film 167
Appendix 3: Chart Showing Echoes and Correspondences Between I Racconti di Canterbury and The Decameron 170
Notes 175
Bibliography 191
Index 205

About the Author
Agnès Blandeau has published articles on The Canterbury Tales and their adaptations on film. An associate professor at Nantes University, she lives in France.

Mass Market Medieval: Essays on the Middle Ages in Popular Culture Edited by David W. Marshall

ISBN 978-0-7864-2922-6
notes, references, index
215pp. softcover 2007
Price: $35.00

Beginning in 1976 with the first issue of the journal Studies in Medievalism, all things medieval and the concept of medievalism became a hot topic in culture studies. Medievalism examines how different groups, individuals, or eras use and shape the image of the Middle Ages, differentiating between historical knowledge of the Middle Ages and what we have made the period out to be. The 13 essays in this book explore the medieval invasion of today’s media and consider the various ways—from film and print to websites and video games—that the Middle Ages have been packaged for consumption. Essays encompass diverse theoretical perspectives and are grouped loosely around distinct functions of medievalism, including the exposure of recent social concerns; the use of medieval images in modern political contexts; and the medieval’s influence on products of today’s popular culture. The legitimization of the study of medievalism and the effect of medievalism on the more traditional subject of medieval studies are also discussed.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction: The Medievalism of Popular Culture 1

1. Chaucer for a New Millennium: The BBC Canterbury Tales 13
2. “If I Lay My Hands on the Grail”: Arthurianism and Progressive Rock 28
3. The Sound of Silents: Aurality and Medievalism in Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan 42
4. Antichrist Superstars: The Vikings in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal 57
5. The Future Is What It Used to Be: Medieval Prophecy and Popular Culture 74
6. Idealized Images of Wales in the Fiction of Edith Pargeter/Ellis Peters 90
7. Places Don’t Have to Be True to Be True: The Appropriation of King Arthur and the Cultural Value of Tourist Sites 102
8. “Accident My Codlings”: Sitcom, Cinema and the Re-writing of History in The Blackadder 113
9. Medieval History and Cultural Forgetting: Oppositional Ethnography in The Templar Revelation 126
10. Teaching the Middle Ages 140
11. Virtually Medieval: The Age of Kings Interprets the Middle Ages 154
12. A World unto Itself: Autopoietic Systems and Secondary Worlds in Dungeons & Dragons 171
13. Anything Different Is Good: Incremental Repetition, Courtly Love, and Purgatory in Groundhog Day 186

About the Contributors 199
Index 201

About the Editor
David W. Marshall attended the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York, England, where he completed an M.A. before earning a doctorate in English at Indiana University. He is an assistant professor of English at California State University, San Bernardino.

Movie Medievalism: The Imaginary Middle Ages
Nickolas Haydock

ISBN 978-0-7864-3443-5
28 photos, notes, bibliography, index
244pp. softcover 2008
Price: $35.00


This work offers a theoretical introduction to the portrayal of medievalism in popular film. Employing the techniques of film criticism and theory, it moves beyond the simple identification of error toward a poetics of this type of film, sensitive to both cinema history and to the role these films play in constructing what the author terms the “medieval imaginary.”

The opening two chapters introduce the rapidly burgeoning field of medieval film studies, viewed through the lenses of Lacanian psychoanalysis and the Deleuzian philosophy of the time-image. The first chapter explores how a vast array of films (including both auteur cinema and popular movies) contributes to the modern vision of life in the Middle Ages, while the second is concerned with how time itself functions in cinematic representations of the medieval. The remaining five chapters offer detailed considerations of specific examples of representations of medievalism in recent films, including First Knight, A Knight’s Tale, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Kingdom of Heaven, King Arthur, Night Watch, and The Da Vinci Code. The book also surveys important benchmarks in the development of Deleuze’s time-image, from classic examples like Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and Kurosawa’s Kagemusha through contemporary popular cinema, in order to trace how movie medievalism constructs images of the multivalence of time in memory and representation.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1 (read online)

Part One: An Introduction to Movie Medievalism 3
1. The Medieval Imaginary 5 (read online)
2. Time Machines 36

Part Two: The Imaginary Middle Ages 79
3. The Waywardness of Cinematic Pastiche in First Knight and A Knight’s Tale 81
4. Shooting the Messenger: Luc Besson at War with Joan of Arc 111
5. Theaters of War: Paracinematic Returns to the Kingdom of Heaven 134
6. Digital Divagations in a Hyperreal Camelot: Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur 165
7. Postmedieval Paranoia: The New Middle Ages of Night Watch and The Da Vinci Code 187

Chapter Notes 209
Works Cited 221
Index 229

About the Author
Nickolas Haydock is professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. In addition to movie medievalism and film, he also writes about medieval Scots literature.

Renaissance Festivals: Merrying the Past and Present Kimberly Tony Korol-Evans

ISBN 978-0-7864-4014-6
photos, bibliography, index
[224]pp. softcover 2009

Not Yet Published, Available Fall/Winter 2009

This ethnographic study of contemporary American Renaissance fairs focuses on the Maryland Renaissance Festival, in which participants recreate sixteenth-century England through performances of theater, combat-at-arms, processions, street hawking, and meticulously faithful historical reconstructions. It is also partly an autobiographical account of interactive improvisation, subcultures within the festival framework, delineation between living history and historical elaboration, and new understanding of performer and patron immersion into varying degrees of the willing suspension of disbelief.

About the Author
Kimberly Tony Korol-Evans is an independent scholar who manages a pirate band and performs at Renaissance festivals with her husband and son. She has published a number of articles, including “Marketing Multiple Mythologies of Masculinity: Television Advertising and the National Hockey League” and “Tudor Court Culture.” Korol-Evans is the founder and chair of the Festivals and Faires Area of the Popular Culture Association.


The Reel Middle Ages: American, Western and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Asian Films About Medieval Europe
Kevin J. Harty

ISBN 978-0-7864-2657-7
117 photos, bibliography, index
324pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2006 [1999]
Price: $49.95


Those tales of old—King Arthur, Robin Hood, The Crusades, Marco Polo, Joan of Arc—have been told and retold, and the tradition of their telling has been gloriously upheld by filmmaking from its very inception. From the earliest of Georges Méliès’s films in 1897, to a 1996 animated Hunchback of Notre Dame, film has offered not just fantasy but exploration of these roles so vital to the modern psyche. St. Joan has undergone the transition from peasant girl to self-assured saint, and Camelot has transcended the soundstage to evoke the Kennedys in the White House.

Here is the first comprehensive survey of over 900 cinematic depictions of the European Middle Ages—date of production, country of origin, director, production company, cast, and a synopsis and commentary. A bibliography, index, and over 100 stills complete this remarkable work.

About the Author
Kevin J. Harty is professor and chair of English at La Salle University in Philadelphia and associate editor of Arthuriana, the official journal of the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society, of which he is also the vice president. He is the author or editor of eleven books on such topics as film and medieval studies.

Robin Hood: A Cinematic History of the English Outlaw and His Scottish Counterparts Scott Allen Nollen

ISBN 978-0-7864-3757-3
38 photos, filmography, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
269pp. softcover 2008 [1999]
Buy Now! Price: $35.00


From Errol Flynn to Kevin Costner to Daffy Duck, the bandit of Sherwood Forest has gone through a variety of incarnations on the way to becoming a cinematic staple. The historic Robin Hood—actually an amalgam of several outlaws of medieval England—was eventually transformed into the romantic and deadly archer-swordsman who “robbed from the rich to give to the poor.” This image was reinforced by popular literature, song—and film.

This volume provides in-depth information on each film based on the immortal hero. In addition, other historical figures such as Scottish rebel-outlaws Rob Roy MacGregor and William Wallace are examined. Nollen also explores nontraditional representations of the legend, such as Frank Sinatra’s Robin and the Seven Hoods and Westerns featuring the Robin Hood motif. A filmography is provided, including production information. The text is highlighted by rare photographs, advertisements, and illustrations.

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Part I: Robin Hood in History 5
1. Sad Stories of the Death of Kings (1066–1276) 7
Early Outlaws of England 10
The End of Norman Rule 13
Richard the Lionheart 13
King John 18
Robert Hod, Outlaw, and Other Rebels 19
2. Was Robin Hood a Scot? (1066–1329) 22
The Hammer of the Scots 23
Sir William Wallace 26
Robert the Bruce, King of Scots 36
Wallace, Bruce and Robin Hood 41
3. English Rebels and Hoods (1322–1450) 46

Part II: Robin Hood in Story and Song 51
4. From Minstrel’s Yeoman to Playwright’s Aristocrat (1400–1700) 53
5. Robin Returns to Scotland (1671–1734) 59

The Making of an Outlaw 63
6. Storybook Outlaws (1771–1900) 73
Fascination with Tradition 74
The Scottish Chiefs 75
Rob Roy 76
Ivanhoe 78

Part III: Robin Hood on the Screena 85
7. Shadows of Sherwood: Early Silent Films (1908–1913) 87
8. No Heavy Footed Englishman: Robin Hood (1922) 89
9. Fluent Treason: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) 99
10. A Round of Robins: Variations on the Legend (1946–1954) 121
Ivanhoe 123
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men 128
Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue 133
11. Low-Budget Brigands: The Hammer Hoods (1957–1973) 138
12. The Chairman of the Board as the Prince of Thieves: Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964) 147
13. The Revised Robin: Robin and Marian (1976) 157

14. Beverly Hills or Barnesdale? (1991) 169
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 170
Robin Hood 180
Robin Hood: Men in Tights 185
15. Robin’s Caledonian Renaissance (1995) 188
Rob Roy 188
Braveheart 201
16. Wither the Greenwood? 219

Appendix A: Films About the English Robin Hood 223
Appendix B: Films About the “Scottish Robin Hoods” 235
Appendix C: Robin Hood Westerns 241
Chapter Notes 243
Bibliography 249
Index 253

About the Author
Scott Allen Nollen was educated in Film and History at the University of Iowa. He is the author of more than a dozen books on the history of film, literature and music.

Arthurian Legends on Film and Television
Bert Olton

ISBN 978-0-7864-4076-4
42 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
351pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2009 [2000]
Price: $35.00

The Arthurian legends are a crucial part of Western culture. With their enduring themes, archetypal characters, and complex plots, it is not surprising that the stories of Camelot should find their way into films and television programs.

From the moody (Excalibur) to the looney (“Knighty Knight Bugs”), more than 250 entries give complete credits, synopses, and analyses. Included are works based solely on Arthur and his literary origins and works that feature other figures, like Galahad, Percival, and the operatic favorites Tristan and Isolde. Also included are animated films, parodies like Monty Python’s, films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with Arthurian themes, and television series with Arthurian episodes such as Babylon 5 and MacGyver. Operatic and dramatic works recorded for film and television (like Camelot) are also covered. Appendices, bibliography and index.

About the Author
A former journalist and photographer, Bert Olton is a member of the International Arthurian Society. He is a freelance writer living in New York.

MMSM: New books from D. S. Brewer (2006-2010)

Information on six recent and forthcoming books from D. S. Brewer. Ordering information and the complete Boydell & Brewer catalog is online.

A History of Arthurian Scholarship
Edited by Norris J. Lacy

Pages: 304
Size: 23.4 x 15.6 cm
13 digit ISBN: 9781843840695
Binding: Hardback
First published: 16/Feb/2006
Price: 95.00 USD / 50.00 GBP
Imprint: D. S. Brewer
Series: Arthurian Studies

This book offers the first comprehensive and analytical account of the development of Arthurian scholarship from the eighteenth century, or earlier, to the present day. The chapters, each written by an expert in the area under discussion, present scholarly trends and evaluate major contributions to the study of the numerous different strands which make up the Arthurian material: origins, Grail studies, editing and translation of Arthurian texts, medieval and modern literatures (in English and European languages), art and film. The result is an indispensable resource for students and a valuable guide for anyone with a serious interest in the Arthurian legend.

1 Arthurian Origins
Christopher A. Snyder
2 The Search for Sources: The Case of the Grail
Richard W Barber
3 Editing Arthuriana
Tony Hunt
4 Translation of Medieval Arthurian Literature
Norris J Lacy
5 Latin Arthurian Literature
Sian Echard
6 Welsh Arthurian Literature
Gerald Morgan
7 Medieval French Literature
Keith Busby and Jane H. M. Taylor
8 Medieval German Arthurian Literature
Albrecht Classen
9 Middle English Arthurian Literature
Roger Dalrymple
10 Medieval Dutch Literature
Bart Besamusca
11 Scandinavian Arthurian Literature
Marianne Kalinke
12 Hispanic Arthurian Literature
Barbara D Miller
13 Italian Arthurian Literature
Christopher Kleinhenz
14 Early Arthurian Art
Muriel Whitaker
15 Modern Arthurian Art
Jeanne Fox-Friedman
16 Modern Literature in English
Daniel P Nastali
17 Cinema Arthuriana
Kevin J Harty

Radio Camelot: Arthurian Legends on the BBC, 1922-2005
Roger Simpson

35 b/w illustrations
Pages: 222
Size: 23.4 x 15.6 cm
13 digit ISBN: 9781843841401
Binding: Hardback
First published: 14/Nov/2007
Price: 95.00 USD / 50.00 GBP
Imprint: D. S. Brewer
Series: Arthurian Studies

Radio has been an important medium for the recreation of the Arthurian legend, reshaping the Matter of Britain in response to changing social and cultural contexts through adapting the traditional material and developing new genres. This pioneering study, drawing on unpublished sources in the BBC Written Archives, uncovers a wealth of material that greatly expands the Arthurian canon. It is both a lively but authoritative record, and critical evaluation, of broadcast music, drama, literature (from medieval to modern), and documentary feature programmes.In particular, the author provides a full account of the growth of Arthurian radio drama, which evolved from D. G. Bridson's patriotic pre-war King Arthur, via fascinations with the Holy Grail and the Lady of Shalott, to its flowering in the 1990s with Kevin Crossley-Holland's Arthur's Knight. Along the way he traces Tolkien's and T. H. White's involvement with the BBC, and reveals radio's role in widening access to the Arthurian operas of Purcell and Wagner. The text is complemented by contemporary illustrations from the Radio Times.


1 1922-1939: `Loud-speakers in Lyonesse'
2 1940-1959: `The envy of the world'
3 1960-1979: `The old order changeth, yielding place to new'
4 1980-2005: `Wave after wave'
5 1980-2005: `Arthur is come again...he cannot die'
6 Conclusion

ROGER SIMPSON, who previously taught English and British Studies at the University of East Anglia, is the author of Camelot Regained and numerous articles about the Arthurian Revival.

Illustrating Camelot
Barbara Tepa Lupack

With Alan Lupack

32 colour illustrations
46 b/w illustrations
Pages: 296
Size: 24.4 x 17.2
13 digit ISBN: 9781843841838
Binding: Hardback
First published: 16/Oct/2008
Price: 60.00 USD / 25.00 GBP
Imprint: D. S. Brewer
Series: Arthurian Studies

Arthurian book illustration, which came into its own in the Arthurian Revival of the nineteenth century and began to flourish as an important art form, has done more than any other visual art to shape notions of King Arthur and his court and to introduce the legends to the widest possible audience. Yet to date there has been no comprehensive study of Arthurian illustration. Illustrating Camelot fills this critical gap, by examining the special collaboration between illustrators and authors and exploring the ways that the best Arthurian illustrators move beyond mere reproduction to become interpretive readers of the texts they embellish. In versions that range from illustrated editions of Tennyson's Idylls of the King to the numerous editions and popular children's retellings of Malory's Morte d'Arthur and in forms that range from Julia Margaret Cameron's landmark photographic portraits to Russell Flint's lush watercolours, from Gustave Doré's Gothic-styled engravings to Howard Pyle's American-inspired drawings, these illustrators - as this pioneering volume demonstrates - not only reinterpret the timeless tales but also reflect the values of their age. Richly illustrated with both colour and black and white plates, the book will appeal to anyone interested in the stories of King Arthur and the world of Camelot.

1 Gustave Doré
2 Julia Margaret Cameron
3 Dan Beard
4 Aubrey Beardsley
5 Jessie M. King
6 Sir W. Russell Flint
7 Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale
8 Walter Crane
9 Arthur Rackham
10 Lancelot Speed
11 Howard Pyle
12 Hudson Talbott
13 Anna-Marie Ferguson
14 Bibliography
15 Index

BARBARA TEPA LUPACK is former Academic Dean at SUNY and Fulbright Professor of American Literature in Poland and France.

Seamus Heaney and Medieval Poetry
Conor McCarthy

Pages: 204
Size: 23.4 x 15.6 cm
13 digit ISBN: 9781843841418
Binding: Hardback
First published: 21/Feb/2008
Price: 90.00 USD / 45.00 GBP
Imprint: D. S. Brewer

13 digit ISBN: 9781843842064
Binding: Paperback
First published: 15/Oct/2009
Price: 37.95 USD / 19.99 GBP
Imprint: D. S. Brewer

Seamus Heaney's engagement with medieval literature constitutes a significant body of work by a major poet that extends across four decades, including a landmark translation of Beowulf. This book, the first to look exclusively at this engagement, examines both Heaney's direct translations and his adaptation of medieval material in his original poems. Each of the four chapters focuses substantially on a single major text: Sweeney Astray (1983), Station Island (1984), Beowulf (1999) and The Testament of Cresseid (2004). The discussion examines Heaney's translation practice in relation to source texts from a variety of languages (Irish, Italian, Old English, and Middle Scots) from across the medieval period, and also in relation to Heaney's own broader body of work. It suggests that Heaney's translations and adaptations give a contemporary voice to medieval texts, bringing the past to bear upon contemporary concerns both personal and political.


1 Sweeney Astray
2 Station Island
3 Beowulf
4 The Testament of Cresseid
5 Conclusion

CONOR MCCARTHY gained his PhD from Trinity College Dublin.

And, the latest from the Studies in Medievalism series:

Defining Medievalism(s) (Studies in Medievalism XVII)
Edited by Karl Fugelso

Pages: 264
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
13 digit ISBN: 9781843841845
Binding: Hardback
First published: 18/Jan/2009
Price: 90.00 USD / 45.00 GBP
Imprint: D. S. Brewer
Series: Studies in Medievalism

Medievalism has been attracting considerable scholarly attention in recent years. But it is also suffering from something of an identity crisis. Where are its chronological and geographical boundaries? How does it relate to the Middle Ages? Does it comprise neomedievalism, pseudomedievalism, and other `medievalisms'?

Studies in Medievalism XVII directly addresses these and related questions via a series of specially-commissioned essays from some of the most well-known scholars in the field; they explore its origins, survey the growth of the subject, and attempt various definitions. The volume then presents seven articles that often test the boundaries of medievalism: they look at echoes of medieval bestiaries in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, the influence of the Niebelungenlied on Wagner's Ring cycle, representations of King Alfred in two works by Dickens, medieval tropes in John Bale's Reformist plays, authenticity in Sigrid Undset's novel Kristin Lavransdatter, incidental medievalism in Handel's opera Rodelinda, and editing in the audio version of Seamus Heaney's Beowulf.

Editorial Note
Karl Fugelso
1 The Founding and the Founder: Medievalism and the Legacy of Leslie J. Workman
Kathleen Verduin
2 Medievalism: Its Linguistic History in Nineteenth-Century Britain
Clare Simmons
3 Medievalism and Medieval Reception: A Terminological Question
Nils Holger Petersen
4 Medievalisms and Why They Matter
Tom Shippey
5 Medievalism, Authority, and the Academy
Gwendolyn Morgan
6 The Tropes of Medievalism
M J Toswell
7 Medievalism and the Middle Ages
Elizabeth Emery
8 Medievalism from Here
Karl Fugelso
9 A Steam-Whistle Modernist?: Representations of King Alfred in Dickens's A Child's History of England and The Battle of Life
Emily Walker Heady
10 Writing Medieval Women [and Men]: Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter
Mark B. Spencer
11 J.K. Rowling's Medieval Bestiary
Gail Orgelfinger
12 Seamus Heaney's Audio Beowulf: An Analysis of the Omissions
Douglas Ryan VanBenthuysen
13 The King's Phantom: Staging Majesty in Bale's Kynge Johan
Thea Cervone
14 Rodelinda Goes Opera: The Lombard Queen's Journey from Medieval Backstage to Händel's "dramma per musica"
W Wunderlich
15 The Ring of the Nibelung and the Nibelungenlied: Wagner's Ambiguous Relationship to a Source
Edward Haymes
16 Notes on Contributors

Defining Medievalism(s) II (Studies in Medievalism XVIII)
Edited by Karl Fugelso

10 b/w illustrations
Pages: 302
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
13 digit ISBN: 9781843842101
First published: 21/Jan/2010
Price: 90.00 USD / 45.00 GBP
Imprint: D. S. Brewer
Series: Studies in Medievalism

This latest volume of Studies in Medievalism further explores definitions of the field, complementing its landmark predecessor. In its first section, essays by seven leading medievalists seeks to determine precisely how to characterize the subjects of study, their relationship to new and related fields, such as neomedievalism, and their relevance to the middle ages, whose definition is itself a matter of debate.Their observations and conclusions are then tested in the articles second part of the book. Their topics include the notion of progress over the last eighty or ninety years in our perception of the middle ages; medievalism in Gustave Doré's mid-nineteenth-century engravings of the Divine Comedy; the role of music in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films; cinematic representations of the Holy Grail; the medieval courtly love tradition in Jeanette Winterson's The Passion and The.Powerbook; Eleanor of Aquitaine in twentieth-century histories; modern updates of the Seven Deadly Sins; and Victorian spins on Jacques de Voragine's Golden Legend.

Editorial Note
Karl Fugelso
1 Medievalism as Fun and Games
Veronica Ortenberg West-Harling
2 Medievalism and Excluded Middles
Nick Haydock
3 Medievalitas Fugit: Medievalism and Temporality
Richard Utz
4 Medievalists, Medievalism and Medievalismists: The Middle Ages, Protean Thinking, and the Opportunistic Teacher-Scholar
E L Risden
5 Living with Neomedievalism
Carol L. Robinson and Pamela Clements
6 Tough Love: Teaching the New Medievalisms
Jane Chance
7 Is Medievalism Reactionary From between the World Wars to the Twenty-First Century: On the Notion of Progress in our Perception of the Middle Ages
Alain Corbellari
8 Gustave Doré's illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy: Innovation, Influence, and Reception
Aida Audeh
9 Soundscapes of Middle Earth: The Question of Medievalist Music in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Films
Stephen Meyer
10 Now You Don't See It, Now You Do: Recognizing the Grail as the Grail
Roberta Davidson
11 From the Middle Ages to the Internet Age: The Medieval Courtly Love Tradition in Jeanette Winterson's The Passion and The Powerbook
Carla A. Arnell
12 New Golden Legends: Golden Saints of the Nineteenth Century
Clare Simmons
13 A Remarkable Woman? Popular Historians and the Image of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Michael Evans
14 The New Seven Deadly Sins
Carol Jamison

MSAM: Unknown still

I've amassed a collection of medieval-themed film stills over the years and have a few that I have not been able to identify. Here's one, that I need help with:


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Housekeeping update

The blog side bar has been updated this afternoon and the links reorganized into more specific categories. Please send us any additional links that you come across.

GMTV: TCM's August offerings

The following represent this month's medieval-themed offerings on TCM. The complete schedule for the month can be found online. All times are EST.

7:37 PM Short Film: Heavenly Music (1943)
Composer Ted Barry arrives at the gates of heaven, only to find that to be admitted the Hall of Music his music must pass the "test of time" according to the Music Committee. The chairman of the committee: the likes of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Wagner and other music legends. Problems arise, however, when the old guard composers can't relate to Barry's modern, "hip" compositions. BW-22 mins,

5:52 PM Short Film: Visiting Italy (1951)
A moving postcard of Italy showing Rome, Assisi, Pisa and Florence, which highlights several of the most famous pieces of the country's impressive architecture. Cast: James A. Fitzpatrick C-7 mins,

6:00 AM Long Ships, The (1964)
Viking seamen battle a Moorish prince for possession of a golden bell. Cast: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, Russ Tamblyn. Dir: Jack Cardiff. C-126 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

6:00 PM Bedknobs And Broomsticks (1971)
An apprentice witch and three war orphans try to prevent the Nazi invasion of England. Cast: Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, Roddy McDowall. Dir: Robert Stevenson. C-117 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format. (Eglantine Price, the apprentice witch, defends England with suits of medieval and early modern armor that she has animated by magic.)

3:30 PM Christopher Columbus (1949)
The legendary explorer discovers the new world while searching for a route to Asia. Cast: Fredric March, Florence Eldridge, Francis L. Sullivan. Dir: David McDonald. C-99 mins, TV-G

6:00 AM Private Life Of Henry VIII, The (1933)
The famed English monarch suffers through five of his six disastrous marriages. Cast: Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Elsa Lanchester. Dir: Alexander Korda. BW-94 mins, TV-PG, CC

1:30 PM Kings Of The Sun (1963)
A Mayan tribe emigrates northward but has to fight off Native Americans. Cast: Yul Brynner, George Chakiris, Shirley Anne Field. Dir: J. Lee-Thompson. C-108 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format

12:45 AM Westworld (1973)
A future fantasy park turns deadly when robot workers go on a killing spree. Cast: Richard Benjamin, Yul Brynner, James Brolin. Dir: Michael Crichton. C-89 mins, TV-MA, CC, Letterbox Format. (Medievalworld is one of the park's historically-themed environments.)

2:15 AM Futureworld (1976)
Reporters uncover deadly secrets behind a theme park where guests live their dreams. Cast: Peter Fonda, Blythe Danner, Yul Brynner. Dir: Richard T. Heffron. C-104 mins, , Letterbox Format

7:30 AM Mouse That Roared, The (1959)
An impoverished nation declares war on the U.S. hoping to lose and score foreign aid. Cast: Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell. Dir: Jack Arnold. C-83 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format

6:00 AM Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm, The (1962)
Fanciful biography of the German fairy-tale collectors, with reenactments of three of their stories. Cast: Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Barbara Eden. Dir: Henry Levin, George Pal. C-136 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format, DVS

3:30 PM Richard III (1955)
A hunchbacked madman plots to make himself king of England. Cast: Sir Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Claire Bloom. Dir: Sir Laurence Olivier. C-158 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format

2:00 AM Clash Of The Titans (1981)
A Greek hero fights a series of monsters, including the dreaded gorgon, to win the woman he loves. Cast: Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Harry Hamlin. Dir: Desmond Davis. C-118 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format. (The myth of Theseus plus elements of Beowulf.)

GMTV: Merlin Update

Merlin continues to air this month on NBC. Next up is "Excalibur," episode 9 (of 13), on Sunday, 2 August. Merlin appears to be bumped on the 10th for Sunday Night Football, but includes the following airdates, two episodes back-to-back again, for the remainder of Season One:

8/16/2009: The Moment of Truth
8/16/2009: The Labyrinth of Gedref

8/23/2009: To Kill the King
8/23/2009: Le Morte D'Arthur

The series takes considerable liberties with the Matter of Britain (take a look at the Wikipedia entry for some details) but makes for good family entertainment, though I think it would be better served if paired with another telefantastic program or on Syfy.

All episodes can be viewed at, and the complete season is expected to be released on DVD to Region 1 this fall, along with a slew of tie-ins.

GMTV: Chiller August 2009 Offerings

Chiller's medieval-themed offerings for August 2009. All times are EST. The complete listing for the month can be found online.

Again, please let us know if you find these postings useful. Thanks.

Unseen. Gargoyles and World War Two.




A modern-day grail quest. Plus Templars.


TV film in which Marco Polo fights dragons.

1:00 AM: MOVIE--DRAGON WARS (2007)
This airs at least once a month. Search the blog.

Also featured this month are mini-marathons of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, INVASION, POLTERGEIST: THE LEGACY, and TWIN PEAKS, shows that have included medieval themes but whose exact content have not yet been cataloged.

GMTV: Syfy Offerings August 2009

Syfy's medieval-themed listings. Please let us know if these listings are useful, as they are time-consuming.

Complete listing for the month are online at Syfy's web site. As always, all times are EST.

Innovative retelling of Beowulf.

12:00 PM: MOVIE--BEOWULF (1999) [DVD
Science fictional retelling of Beowulf.

Unseen. Fantasy film set in a medieval-like world.

College student visits Eastern Europe and battles a medieval sorcerer.


A poor-man's Jurassic Park with dragons.



Loosely based on the legends of St George.

Thor looses his memory and his powers and must fight Fenris Wolf to recover them.

05:30 PM: MOVIE--KING ARTHUR (2004) [DVD
Pseudo-historical epic of the "real" King Arthur.

Continuation of the 1998 mini-series Merlin.


Dragons from outer space attack a series of kingdoms in medieval Eastern Europe.

04:00 PM: MOVIE--DRAGON WARS (2007) [DVD
Search the blog for details. This airs at least once a month.

This month's mini-marathon of the popular television series.

Medieval content (if any) unknown.

An immortal Van Helsing continues his pursuit of Dracula.

Made-for-TV Dracula biopic recounting a version of the life of Vlad Tepes.