Amy E. Dawson

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Medieval Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Otto Grundler

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Szarmach

Third Advisor

Dr. Joyce Kubiski

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study analyzes the commercialization of popular medievalism that occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. By examining the works of a forger of medieval manuscripts this research identifies a market created for works that expressed a particularly "Romantic" vision of medieval society. Moreover, this study offers a discussion of late nineteenth century handbooks that teach techniques of illumination. These works are examined to gain an understanding of the audience for which "medieval" works were created. Publication information reveals the popularity of these handbooks. The. prefatory material examined here pinpoints the idealization of the "medieval" that made handbooks and forgeries popular. It is my thesis that medievalism, a constructed idea--an idea that changes and adapts when manipulated by each group in control of that structure--explains the popularity of the handbooks produced in the late nineteenth century and the proliferation of forged works created to appear medieval.