Medieval Petitions: Grace and Grievance

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The mechanics, politics and culture of petitioning in the middle ages are examined in this innovative collection. In addition to important and wide-ranging examinations of the ancient world and the medieval papacy, it focuses particularly on petitions to the English crown in the later middle ages, drawing on a major collection of documents made newly accessible to research in the National Archives. A series of studies explores the political contexts of petitioning, the broad geographical and social range of petitioners, and the fascinating 'worm's-eye' view of medieval life that are uniquely offered by petitions themselves, and particular attention is given to the performative qualities of petitioning and its place in the culture of royal intercession. With their vivid new insights into judicial conventions and the legal creativity spawned by political crisis, these papers provide a closely integrated assessment of current scholarship and new research on these most fascinating and revealing of medieval social texts. The contributors include: W. Mark Ormrod, Gwilym Dodd, Serena Connolly, Barbara Bombi, Patrick Zutshi, Paul Brand, Guilhem Pepin, Anthony Musson, Simon J. Harris, Shelagh A. Sneddon, and, David Crook.