Emotional Alterity in the Medieval North Sea World

Erin Sebo (Editor), Matthew Firth (Editor), Daniel Anlezark (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologypeer-review


This book addresses a little-considered aspect of the study of the history of emotions in medieval literature: the depiction of perplexing emotional reactions. Medieval literature often confronts audiences with displays of emotion that are improbable, physiologically impossible, or simply unfathomable in modern social contexts. The intent of such episodes is not always clear; medieval texts rarely explain emotional responses or their motivations. The implication is that the meanings communicated by such emotional display were so obvious to their intended audience that no explanation was required. This raises the question of whether such meanings can be recovered. This is the task to which the contributors to this book have put themselves. In approaching this question, this book does not set out to be a collection of literary studies that treat portrayals of emotion as simple tropes or motifs, isolated within their corpora. Rather, it seeks to uncover how such manifestations of feeling may reflect cultural and social dynamics underlying vernacular literatures from across the medieval North Sea world.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages284
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-33965-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-33964-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in the History of Emotion


  • history of emotions
  • Middle Ages
  • Icelandic sagas
  • Old Norse
  • Old English


Dive into the research topics of 'Emotional Alterity in the Medieval North Sea World'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this