Medieval and early modern representations of authority in Scotland and the British Isles

Lucinda H.S. Dean (Editor), Michael Penman (Editor), Katherine Buchanan (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


What use is it to be given authority over men and lands if others do not know about it? Furthermore, what use is that authority if those who know about it do not respect it or recognise its jurisdiction? And what strategies and 'language' -written and spoken, visual and auditory, material, cultural and political - did those in authority throughout the medieval and early modern era use to project and make known their power? These questions have been crucial since regulations for governance entered society and are found at the core of this volume. In order to address these issues from an historical perspective, this collection of essays considers representations of authority made by a cross-section of society within the British Isles. Arranged in thematic sections, the 14 essays in the collection bridge the divide between medieval and early modern to build up understanding of the developments and continuities that can be followed across the centuries in question.

Whether crown or noble, government or church, burgh or merchant; all desired power and influence, but their means of representing authority were very different. These essays encompass a myriad of methods demonstrating power and disseminating the image of authority, including: material culture, art, literature, architecture and landscapes, saintly cults, speeches and propaganda, martial posturing and strategic alliances, music, liturgy and ceremonial display. Thus, this interdisciplinary collection illuminates the variable forms in which authority was presented by key individuals and institutions in Scotland and the British Isles. By placing these within the context of the European powers with whom they interacted, this volume also underlines the unique relationships developed between the people and those who exercised authority over them.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxon
PublisherRoutledge Press, New York.
Number of pages302
ISBN (Electronic)9781315594736
ISBN (Print)9781472424488
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Representations of authority
  • Material culture
  • Landscape and architecture
  • Music
  • Literature
  • Medieval
  • Early modern
  • Burghs
  • Kings
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Ireland
  • 28ref2021


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