Leeds International Medieval Conference 2015

  • Corinne Dale (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


‘be sonde, sæwealle neah’: Place as Descriptor in the Exeter Book Riddles

Place as it features in the Old English elegies has received much attention from scholars, with various studies dedicated to understanding its role and significance, yet place as a descriptor in the riddles has received little or no attention. Why do scholars stop at the riddles? It is certainly the case that ‘in some writing the physical context may be minimal or may not have a sufficiently important influence on the chief interest of the work to merit our attention’; yet this is not the case for the Exeter Book riddles. A large number of the riddle subjects define themselves by place and place is often at the forefront of the subject’s or narrator’s consciousness. This paper explores uses of place as a subject descriptor in the riddles with the aim of showing that place is an important part of the collection and, furthermore, that evocations of place can form part of the collection’s ecological interests. The Old English Riddles as a collection depict place as more than simply a setting, creating an environment that undermines as much as it encompasses an anthropocentric worldview.
Period9 Jul 2015
Event typeConference
LocationLeeds, United KingdomShow on map


  • Anglo-Saxon
  • place
  • eco-criticism
  • eco-theology
  • old english
  • riddles