In recent years in studies of the Weste,n Middle Ages, there has been an increasing interest in medievalism itself, rather than simply in the cultures and their cultural products. I Such interest has not been confined to the European countries, but has extended to others, the United States or Australia, for example, where the teaching of medieval studies has often been based on a sense of a European cultural inheritance. As part of this shift in direction, specific attention has been paid to the medievalism of a variety of enthusiasts, editors, translators, teachers and scholars. Some of the focus has been on the role medievalism played in the formation of subjects and cultures, especially in the formation of gender and identity - personal, class or national - and in the production and legitimation of socio-political forces like nationalism or colonialism/imperialism.' In the United Kingdom, for instance, the great cultural value placed on a perceived connection with the Middle Ages can been seen in many features of nineteenthcentury literary culture, from children's books, especially those for boys, to the output of groups like the Early English Text Society,' itself an offshoot of the immense interest in language history which resulted in the production of the Oxford English Dictionary.