Welcome to the fifth issue of Hortulus. Our theme for 2009, Monsters and Monstrosities in the Middle Ages, received a wonderful response, ensuring an exciting and diverse issue. Charlotte Ball explores the connection between monsters and landscapes in her article, “Monstrous Landscapes: The Interdependence of Meaning between Monster and Landscape in Beowulf.” The monstrous body of St. Christopher and its effects on the pagan king Dagnus is the subject of Arthur. J Russell’s “Monstrous Conversions: Recovering the Sacramental Bodies of The Passion of St. Christopher.” Heidi Thimann’s “Marginal Beings: Hybrids as the Other in Late Medieval Manuscripts” is a study of the interaction between the margin and the centre in medieval manuscripts and is accompanied by some wonderful images! We are also delighted to include three book reviews in this issue on the theme of monsters in the Middle Ages, which we hope you find useful. The reviewed books are: Pride and Prodigies: Studies in the Monsters of the Beowulf-Manuscript by Andy Orchard, Deformed Discourse: The Function of the Monster in Mediaeval Thought and Literatureby David Williams and Of Giants: Sex, Monsters, and the Middle Ages by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen.
Hortulus is undergoing some changes at the moment and it is with sadness that we say goodbye to Karina Marie Ash, who has been involved with the journal for a number of years, editing the 2007, 2008 and 2009 volumes. Karina is graduating from her doctoral program at University of California, Los Angeles, and all the staff at Hortulus would like to wish her warmest wishes for her future. We look forward to continuing all of her hard work to develop and promote this journal as a forum for graduate researchers to publish their work.
Hortulus is a voluntary journal dependent upon donations from the public to remain online. To help ensure the future of the website and to celebrate the fifth issue of the journal, Hortulus is now available to purchase for a reasonable fee in print form. All details are on the main page with further links on the table of contents for each volume.
Finally, I would like to express my thanks to our staff and the authors of the articles for making this a fantastic issue of Hortulus!
Grace Windsor, Co-Editor.