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Transforming popular romance on the edge of the World: Nítíða saga in Late Medieval and Early Modern Iceland

McDonald Werronen, Sheryl Elizabeth (2013) Transforming popular romance on the edge of the World: Nítíða saga in Late Medieval and Early Modern Iceland. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on late medieval and early modern Icelandic literature and society roughly spanning the years 1400–1700, including the reception and reinterpretation of medieval Icelandic popular texts after the Icelandic Reformation in 1550. The thesis discusses in detail one late medieval Icelandic romance called Nítíða saga, which was very popular in post-Reformation Iceland, surviving in 65 manuscripts. The thesis is organized into two parts. Part One discusses Nítíða saga’s internal and external contexts, looking at the saga as a physical and cultural artefact, as well as its setting. Chapter One delves into the saga’s manuscript context, including a classification of the surviving manuscript witnesses and a discussion of the medieval text’s post-Reformation reception and transformation through three case studies. Chapter Two discusses the saga’s intertextual relationships, through the analysis of a prominent motif and through two case studies highlighting the saga’s relationships with other Icelandic romances. Chapter Three analyses the saga’s setting, investigating the text’s unusual depiction of world geography. Part Two considers the saga’s characters and their relationships: Chapter Four discusses the depiction of the saga’s hero, including perspectives on gender and power; Chapter Five looks at the characterization of other figures in the saga and how they reinforce the hero’s position; and Chapter Six explores the role of the narrator. Overall this thesis shows, through material philology together with literary analysis, how Nítíða saga explores and negotiates the genre of Icelandic romance. The thesis also raises questions of Icelandic identity, both locally and in relation to the wider world, uncovering relationships among manuscripts and texts, which have previously gone unnoticed, and also shedding light on Icelandic attitudes towards literature and literacy in the late medieval and early modern periods.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2014 09:11
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5061

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