The nostalgia of twentieth-century medievalisms




Lumbley, Coral

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This thesis focuses on nostalgia in twentieth-century medievalistic literature and performance. I begin with an explanation of what medievalism is and how specific types of medievalism have come to co-exist in the twenty-first century. This thesis focuses particularly on the problematic nature of neomedievalism and the necessity of both irony and nostalgia in the creation of successful medievalistic texts. I provide a series of critical analyses which argue that authors of medievalistic fiction such as J. R. R. Tolkien and T. H. White create satisfying medievalistic works which are born from an impetus of nostalgia. I also argue that these texts provide the reader with an affective nostalgic experience similar to the affective experience of medieval re-creation of the twenty-first century. Ultimately, I conclude that nostalgia plays a vital role in the creation of medievalisms by lending emotional authenticity, if not historical authenticity, to literature and performance.


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medievalism, re-creation, re-enactment, Tolkien, White