Poetry and Parental Bereavement in Early Modern Lutheran Germany - Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs (Hardback)
  • Poetry and Parental Bereavement in Early Modern Lutheran Germany - Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs (Hardback)
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Poetry and Parental Bereavement in Early Modern Lutheran Germany - Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs (Hardback)

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£127.50
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 10/04/2008
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In early modern Europe it has been estimated that up to one in two children did not survive to the age of ten. In the light of this high mortality rate, some historians have argued that parents did not form close relationships with their children, especially the very young. This is clearly refuted by the testimony of bereaved parents such as Martin Luther, and by the volume of consolatory writings produced for grieving families in early modern Lutheran Germany. The authors, clergymen and lay people, regarded grief as a deep wound which required treatment, and they applied the balm of consolation through sermons, tracts and occasional poetry. This study analyses these writings, focusing particularly on the neglected genre of the epicedium (funeral poem). It asks how and why poetry was used to counter the affective impact of parental bereavement, and considers what makes it a suitable vehicle for consolation. The poems, which are analyzed against the contemporary theological, philosophical, and poetological background, are taken from Leichenpredigten (printed funeral booklets), as well as from collections by two contrasting poets, Paul Fleming (1609-40), an unmarried man who wrote to console others, and Margarethe Susanna von Kuntsch (1651-1717), who lost thirteen of her fourteen children. The study seeks to rehabilitate a neglected genre and participates in discussions on the sociology of death, Lutheran teachings about death and mourning, literary presentations of mortality and loss, and the depiction of children and parent-child relations in literature.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199233366
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 547 g
Dimensions: 225 x 150 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
It is to Anna Linton's credit that her study informs the reader about contexts and conventions at the same time that it provides persuasive readings of selected poems. She has preferred to discuss a few poems in their entirety rather than to excerpt a little from many. This method of respecting a poem's integrity works very well, for it allows us to experience each work in and for itself,and not just as an illustrative example of a point being argued. * Diane Louise Johnson, Christianity and Literature *
Striking... The strength of Linton's monograph lies in the breadth of her survey of the poetic texts that German Lutherans produced during the period. * Lutheran Quarterly *
Linton's study makes a substanive contribution to this field of inquiry * Diane Louise Johnson, Christianity and Literature *

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