Law and the Imagination in Medieval Wales explores the idea of law as a form of political fiction: a body of literature that blurs the lines generally drawn between the legal and literary genres.
Robin Chapman Stacey is Professor of History at the University of Washington. She is author of The Road to Judgment: From Custom to Court in Medieval Ireland and Wales and Dark Speech: The Performance of Law in Early Ireland, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
"Drawing on research into the poetry, narrative, and biography of the period, as well as its law and literature, Robin Chapman Stacey argues that the corpus of medieval Welsh Law known as Cyfraith Hywel Dda is a political document emerging from a changing thirteenth-century Wales in which the nobility and learned classes felt themselves and their traditions threatened by English cultural influence and political power on one hand, and the expanding pretensions of Welsh princes on the other."—Catherine McKenna, Harvard University
"A field-changing book. Robin Chapman Stacey's approach not only offers a valuable corrective to those histories that treat legal texts as straightforward representations of practice; it also gets us out of the mire of speculation about lost manuscripts, dating, and provenance."—Emily Steiner, University of Pennsylvania