Stone Fidelity: Marriage and Emotion in Medieval Tomb Sculpture [Hardback]

Jessica Barker(Author)

ISBN: 9781783272716 | Published by: Boydell Press | Series: Boydell Studies in Medieval Art and Architecture | Volume: Volume 19 | Year of Publication: 2020 | 342p, H9.5 x W6.75, 33 color, 63 black and white, 2 line drawing
Status: Not Yet Published - Available for pre-order

Stone Fidelity


Medieval tombs often depict husband and wife lying side-by-side, and hand in hand, immortalised in elegantly carved stone: what Phiilip Larkin's poem An Arundel Tomb later described as their "stone fidelity".
This first full account of the "double tomb" places its rich tradition into dialogue with powerful discourses of gender, marriage, politics and emotion during the Middle Ages. As well as offering new interpretations of some of the most famous medieval tombs, such as those found in Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral, it draws attention to a host of lesser-known memorials from throughout Europe, providing an innovative vantage point from which to reconsider the material culture of medieval marriage. Setting these twin effigies alongside wedding rings and dresses as the agents of matrimonial ritual and embodied symbolism, the author presents the "double tomb" as far more than mere romantic sentiment. Rather, it reveals the careful artifice beneath their seductive emotional surfaces: the artistic, religious, political and legal agendas underlying the medieval rhetoric of married love.

Dr JESSICA BARKER is a Lecturer in Medieval Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London

Table of Contents

The Double Tomb: Marriage, Symbol and Society
Love's Rhetorical Power: The Royal Tomb
Gender, Agency and the Much-Married Woman
Holding Hands: Gesture, Sign, Sacrament
Gazetteer of Hand-Joining Monuments

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