Introducing the Medieval Fox

Author(s) Paul Wackers

Language: English

Genre(s): Medieval

Series: Medieval Animals

  • February 2023 · 128 pages ·198x129mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786839886
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786839893
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786839909

About The Book

This book is an entertaining, informative and enchanting introduction to its subject – just as those medieval banes of the farmyard, the Fox and the Vixen, were enchanting in escapades from fables and funny tales, from beastly epic poems and bestiaries, and from medieval material culture (in Danish wall-paintings and Dutch manuscript illustrations and statues, stained-glass and Italian mosaics). There exist books on medieval fox stories and on the animal’s iconography, which are important themes in this study, but this book is the first holistic approach to all types of manifestations of foxes in medieval culture – from medical recipes and fur trade, to Bible commentaries and hunting manuals.


‘Prepare to be outfoxed, as an expert tracker follows the fox in the circuitous twists of his medieval development. On this fascinating hunt, Paul Wackers finds all the lairs of this creature in learned lore and literature, especially romance, where the fox became Reynard.’
Jan Ziolkowski, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin, Harvard University

‘The ambivalence of the naturally astute fox, at times evoking some rather unorthodox moral and political ideas, is at the core of the premodern imaginary of animals – and still prolific in today’s popular culture. Wackers’s concise introduction on relevant medieval knowledge, pictures and literary texts is an excellent starting point for those who want to get on the historical trails of this fascinating – although elusive – animal.’
Michael Waltenberger, Chair of German Medieval Literature, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich


List of Illustrations
The Fox and Medieval Religion
The Fox and Medieval Scholarship
The Fox and Medieval Literature
Further Reading
Select Bibliography

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Paul Wackers

Paul Wackers is Professor Emeritus for Historical Dutch Literature to 1500, at the University of Utrecht.

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