Invention of False Medieval Authorities as a Literary Device in Popular Fiction

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This study explores the construction of false authority within and by contemporary popular fiction, especially within those tales concerned with the creation of texts themselves. This practice represents a return to medieval theories of authority, where the Bible, theology, and the ancient classics represented recourse for the assertions of contemporary thinkers and writers.


“This examination of the booklover’s mystery constitutes a significant contribution to scholarship on this popular novelistic genre ... Dr. Morgan writes in a style that is both vigorous and engaging, producing a book that is appropriately accessible to readers both in and out of the academy ...” – Professor James Keller, Mississippi University for Women

Table of Contents

I. Introduction: Modern Fictional Authorities
II. The Medieval Precedent: The Pursuit of Authority
III. Rewriting History: The Modern Beginnings
IV. The Exaltation of the Text: Julie Kaewert
V. Booklover’s Detective Fiction: John Dunning
VI. Medieval Authority and Metatext: The Dante Club
VII. From Metatext to Hyperreality: The DaVinci Code
VIII. Film as Authority: Saints as Witches
IX. “ ... Together with All the Rights and Privileges ... ”: Academic Authority and Medievalism
X. Medievalism and Authority: The Dangers

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