The galaunt tradition in England, c.1380–c.1550: the form and function of a satirical youth figure


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Rozier, Emily Jane (2016). The galaunt tradition in England, c.1380–c.1550: the form and function of a satirical youth figure. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The subject of this doctoral study is the satirical figure known as the ‘galaunt’, as depicted in English literature and visual art c.1380–c.1550. It combines close textual analysis with investigation of established youth tropes, contemporaneous material culture, and socio-political concerns. It begins by establishing the breadth of the galaunt corpus and the figure’s significance, before tracing the etymology of galaunt and the cultural antecedents of the late medieval tradition in order to establish its hitherto unidentified Classical origins. The study goes on to explore the fundamental aspects of the galaunt’s semiotic makeup: youth; licentiousness; sartorial extravagance; and problematic masculinity.

Despite the cultural significance of the late medieval galaunt, it has received little scholarly attention and the true significance of the figure’s role as Wayward Youth is yet to be established. This doctoral thesis moves away from previous scholarship, which has interpreted the figure as an instance of social-mobility discourse, and instead unravels the tradition’s complex conflation of established youth stereotypes and socio-political concerns to reposition the galaunt as a Vice figure symbolising errant youth. The thesis argues for a reappraisal of the significance of youth to late medieval social discourses, particularly in regard to questions of masculinity and status.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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