Dr Lydia Zeldenrust

  • Lecturer in Middle English Literature (English Language & Linguistics)

Research interests

I am a specialist in late medieval literature whose research often extends into the early modern period. My research typically takes a comparative, transcultural approach, working across multiple language, and I integrate literary study with historical and book-historical approaches. I am particularly interested in the movement and transmission of texts across regional and linguistic borders, and in the place of English literary activity and book production in relation to continental Europe. I work with both manuscripts and early printed texts.

My first monograph The Mélusine Romance in Medieval Europe: Translation, Circulation, and Material Contexts was published with D. S. Brewer in 2020 (and shortlisted for the University English Book Prize 2021). The study is the first to consider how the romance of Mélusine – about a beautiful fairy woman who is cursed to become a half-serpent once a week – transformed from a local legend to an international bestseller, analysing versions in French, German, Castilian, Dutch, and English. The book addresses timely questions on how to study medieval literature from a European perspective, moving beyond national canons, reading Mélusine’s bodily mutability as a metaphor for how the romance itself moves and transforms across borders. It analyses key changes to the romance’s content, form, and material presentation – including its images – and traces how the people who produced and owned/read this romance shaped its international transmission and spread.

My most recent project is ‘Continental Connections: European Bestselling Romances in England (c. 1400-1600)’ (funded by the Leverhulme Trust). It examines a group of European bestselling romances that arrive in England in the late medieval period and fuel new translation, copying, and printing activities. These romances have a complex international genealogy and have received little scholarly attention, as they do not fit in neatly with national canons or the usual focus on Anglo-French exchanges. The project breaks important ground by placing the English versions within a pan-European framework, to trace the international networks surrounding their production and readership, and to uncover to what extent these texts actively participate in European traditions and which features might set the English versions apart. The project sheds light on a period when English was not a world language but a marginal language, and English literary culture was largely catching up with continental fashions.

I have also published on topics such as inter-vernacular translation, and the international circulation and copying of woodcuts in the early period of printing.

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2023 | 2022 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2014 | 2012
Number of items: 13.

2023

Zeldenrust, L. (2023) The greatest story ever sold? Marketing Melusine across early modern Western, Northern, and Central Europe. In: Schlusemann, R., Blom, H., Richter, A. K. and Wierzbicka-Trwoga, K. (eds.) Top Ten Fictional Narratives in Early Modern Europe. De Gruyter, pp. 191-224. ISBN 9783110764451 (doi: 10.1515/9783110764451-007)

Zeldenrust, L. (2023) Commentary article on Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Bloomsbury Medieval Studies, 13 Apr. (doi: 10.5040/9781350895683.010)

2022

Zeldenrust, L. and Lodén, S. (2022) Valentin and his wild brother in European literature: how French is a medieval French romance? Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures, 9, pp. 144-179. (doi: 10.54103/interfaces-09-08)

2020

Zeldenrust, L. (2020) The Mélusine Romance in Medieval Europe: Translation, Circulation, and Material Contexts. Series: Studies in medieval romance (23). Boydell and Brewer. ISBN 9781843845218 (doi: 10.1017/9781787446137)

Zeldenrust, L. (2020) Medieval Romances across European Borders, ed. Miriam Edlich-Muth (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018). vii + 228 pp. ISBN: 978-2-503-57716-6. €75.00. Medium Aevum, 89(1), pp. 197-198. [Book Review]

2019

Zeldenrust, L. (2019) Mélusine voyage, les traductions de romans. In: Vieille, K. (ed.) Mélusine, Secrets d'une fée. Silvana Editoriale, pp. 95-101. ISBN 9788836643875

2018

Zeldenrust, L. (2018) Space, Gender, and Memory in Middle English Romance: Architectures of Wonder in ‘Melusine’. By Jan Shaw. (The New Middle Ages) New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2016. vii+272 pp. £66.99; $99.99. ISBN 978–1–137–45650–2. Modern Language Review, 113(2), pp. 368-370. (doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.113.2.0368)[Book Review]

Zeldenrust, L. (2018) Helen J. Swift, Representing the Dead: Epitaph Fictions in Late-Medieval France, Gallica 40 (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2016). xiv + 334 pp.; 5 colour plates, 21 black-and-white illustrations. ISBN 978-1-84384-436-5. Medium Aevum, 87(1), pp. 182-183. [Book Review]

2017

Zeldenrust, L. (2017) The fragments of a Middle English Melusyne edition: some further clues. Journal of the Early Book Society, 20, pp. 251-264.

Zeldenrust, L. (2017) The Lady with the Serpent’s Tail: Hybridity and the Dutch Meluzine. In: Urban, M., Kemmis, D. and Ridley Elmes, M. (eds.) Melusine's Footprint: Tracing the Legacy of a Medieval Myth. Series: Explorations in medieval culture, 4. Brill, pp. 132-145. ISBN 9789004355958 (doi: 10.1163/9789004355958_009)

2016

Zeldenrust, L. (2016) Serpent or Half-Serpent? Bernhard Richel’s Melusine and the Making of a Western European Icon. Neophilologus, 100(1), pp. 19-41. (doi: 10.1007/s11061-015-9458-0)

2014

Zeldenrust, L. (2014) Over de mooie Melosina: Castiliaanse vertalingen van een beroemde Franse legende. Filter Tijdschrift over Vertalen, 21(3), pp. 71-78.

2012

Zeldenrust, L. (2012) Wanneer een ridder een drakenvrouw ontmoet. Middeleeuwse ideeën over mens, dier en het hybride monster. Madoc: Tijdschrift over de Middeleeuwen, 26(3), pp. 170-178.

This list was generated on Fri Jun 21 05:04:12 2024 BST.
Number of items: 13.

Articles

Zeldenrust, L. (2023) Commentary article on Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Bloomsbury Medieval Studies, 13 Apr. (doi: 10.5040/9781350895683.010)

Zeldenrust, L. and Lodén, S. (2022) Valentin and his wild brother in European literature: how French is a medieval French romance? Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures, 9, pp. 144-179. (doi: 10.54103/interfaces-09-08)

Zeldenrust, L. (2017) The fragments of a Middle English Melusyne edition: some further clues. Journal of the Early Book Society, 20, pp. 251-264.

Zeldenrust, L. (2016) Serpent or Half-Serpent? Bernhard Richel’s Melusine and the Making of a Western European Icon. Neophilologus, 100(1), pp. 19-41. (doi: 10.1007/s11061-015-9458-0)

Zeldenrust, L. (2014) Over de mooie Melosina: Castiliaanse vertalingen van een beroemde Franse legende. Filter Tijdschrift over Vertalen, 21(3), pp. 71-78.

Zeldenrust, L. (2012) Wanneer een ridder een drakenvrouw ontmoet. Middeleeuwse ideeën over mens, dier en het hybride monster. Madoc: Tijdschrift over de Middeleeuwen, 26(3), pp. 170-178.

Books

Zeldenrust, L. (2020) The Mélusine Romance in Medieval Europe: Translation, Circulation, and Material Contexts. Series: Studies in medieval romance (23). Boydell and Brewer. ISBN 9781843845218 (doi: 10.1017/9781787446137)

Book Sections

Zeldenrust, L. (2023) The greatest story ever sold? Marketing Melusine across early modern Western, Northern, and Central Europe. In: Schlusemann, R., Blom, H., Richter, A. K. and Wierzbicka-Trwoga, K. (eds.) Top Ten Fictional Narratives in Early Modern Europe. De Gruyter, pp. 191-224. ISBN 9783110764451 (doi: 10.1515/9783110764451-007)

Zeldenrust, L. (2019) Mélusine voyage, les traductions de romans. In: Vieille, K. (ed.) Mélusine, Secrets d'une fée. Silvana Editoriale, pp. 95-101. ISBN 9788836643875

Zeldenrust, L. (2017) The Lady with the Serpent’s Tail: Hybridity and the Dutch Meluzine. In: Urban, M., Kemmis, D. and Ridley Elmes, M. (eds.) Melusine's Footprint: Tracing the Legacy of a Medieval Myth. Series: Explorations in medieval culture, 4. Brill, pp. 132-145. ISBN 9789004355958 (doi: 10.1163/9789004355958_009)

Book Reviews

Zeldenrust, L. (2020) Medieval Romances across European Borders, ed. Miriam Edlich-Muth (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018). vii + 228 pp. ISBN: 978-2-503-57716-6. €75.00. Medium Aevum, 89(1), pp. 197-198. [Book Review]

Zeldenrust, L. (2018) Space, Gender, and Memory in Middle English Romance: Architectures of Wonder in ‘Melusine’. By Jan Shaw. (The New Middle Ages) New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2016. vii+272 pp. £66.99; $99.99. ISBN 978–1–137–45650–2. Modern Language Review, 113(2), pp. 368-370. (doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.113.2.0368)[Book Review]

Zeldenrust, L. (2018) Helen J. Swift, Representing the Dead: Epitaph Fictions in Late-Medieval France, Gallica 40 (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2016). xiv + 334 pp.; 5 colour plates, 21 black-and-white illustrations. ISBN 978-1-84384-436-5. Medium Aevum, 87(1), pp. 182-183. [Book Review]

This list was generated on Fri Jun 21 05:04:12 2024 BST.

Grants

2019–22  Principal Investigator, Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, project ‘Continental Connections: European Bestselling Romances in England (c.1400-1600)’, £93,000.

Additional information

Recent public activities:

Recorded lines in Middle English for a sound and visual projection piece in the York Minster

Contributed to BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking episode on Melusine, Jan. 2022

Recorded lines in Middle English for the 'Voices of Clifford’s Tower' sound project with artist Karen Monid, for English Heritage (reading out an Arthurian romance)

'Medieval Romances, Trash Fiction, and Rebel Women’. Talk for York Festival of Ideas, sponsored by BBC History Magazine

'Knights, dragons, and beasts: the strange world of medieval romance’, History Extra podcast

Writing pieces for catalogue accompanying the exhibition Mélusinesecrets d'une fée at the Historial de la Vendée, France

Organised event on Medieval Magic at Barley Hall, and event on Medieval Magical Creatures for the York Festival of Ideas