Carr, Mary, K.P. Clarke and Marco Nievergelt, eds. On Allegory: Some Medieval Aspects and Approaches. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008.
This collection of essays focuses on the ubiquity of the allegorical imagination in pre-modern western culture, and participates in a recent wave of resurgence of interest in the complex practices and ideas usually defined by the word "allegory". The contributors study the impact of the allegorical imagination on the production, reception and interpretation of literature, as well as its function as a tool of philosophical and theological enquiry, and its role in shaping the visual arts. Essays focus on subjects as varied as the general theories on allegory, allegory's relation to the human imagination, its usefulness or even inevitability as a human mode of cognition and its potential for the encoding of meanings that may be political, historical, religious and amorous. They discuss canonical figures such as Petrarch, Boccaccio, Boethius, Hans Memling, Pico della Mirandola, King James I and John Donne, but extend to include neglected but equally important figures such as Stephen Hawes or Thomas Usk as well as thematic approaches less concerned with issues of authority and authorship. As such the collection is a testimony to the variety, complexity, and adaptability of "allegory" at the heart of medieval western civilisation.