Anchorites, Wombs, and Tombs: Intersections of Gender and Enclosure in the Middle Ages

Overview

Until recently, the figure of the medieval anchorite and the underlying ideological concepts that framed her day-to-day existence have escaped detailed examination, despite the anchorite’s importance to the study of medieval culture. This collection brings together leading scholars in the field of gender and anchoritic studies in order to examine anchoritic enclosure from a variety of different perspectives. In so doing, Anchorites, Wombs, and Tombs offers illuminating conclusions about how the phenomenon of ...

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Overview

Until recently, the figure of the medieval anchorite and the underlying ideological concepts that framed her day-to-day existence have escaped detailed examination, despite the anchorite’s importance to the study of medieval culture. This collection brings together leading scholars in the field of gender and anchoritic studies in order to examine anchoritic enclosure from a variety of different perspectives. In so doing, Anchorites, Wombs, and Tombs offers illuminating conclusions about how the phenomenon of anchoritism was affected by, and in turn, influenced contemporary notions of gender difference.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Liz Herbert McAvoy is Lecturer in Gender in English Studies at the University of Wales Swansea. She has published widely on medieval women’s writing, the medieval mystical experience and anchoritism, including a monograph on Margery Kempe and Julian of Norwich. She is currently writing a book on constructions of gender in anchoritic guidance texts.

Mari Hughes-Edwards is Lecturer in English at the University of Salford. She has recently been awarded a Ph.D. on contemplative models in high and late medieval anchoritic guidance texts which she is currently revising for publication. Other research interests include the constructions of gender and space in contemporary women’s poetry, on which she has also published a number of articles.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker

 

Introduction: Intersections of Time and Space in Gender and Enclosure by Liz Herbert McAvoy and Mari Hughes-Edwards

 

Context: Some Reflections on Wombs and Tombs and Inclusive Language by Alexandra Barratt

 

I. Enclosure and Discources of the Desert

Guthlac A and Guthlac B: Changing Metaphors by Santha Bhattacharji

 

Representations of the Anchoritic Life in Goscelin of St-Bertin’s Liber Confortatorius by Rebecca Hayward

 

Male and Female Cistercians and their Gendered Experiences of the Margins, the Wilderness and the Periphery by Elizabeth Freeman

 

The Whitefriars’ Return to Carmel by Johan Bergstöm-Allen

 

II. Gender and Enclosure: Late Medieval Intersections

‘Crepe into that blessed syde’ Enclosure Imagery in Aelred of Rievaulx's de Institutione Inclusarum by Kristen McQuinn

 

Gladly Alone, Gladly Silent: Isolation and Exile in the Anchoritic Mystical Experience by Susannah Mary Chewning

 

Dionysius of Ryckel: Masculinity and Historical Memory by Ulrike Wiethaus

 

‘Wrapt as if to the third heaven’ Gender and Contemplation in Late Medieval Anchoritic Guidance Writing by Mari Hughes-Edwards

 

III. Beyond the Tomb: The Question of Audience

‘Efter hire euene’: Lay Audiences and the Variable Asceticism of Ancrene Wisse by Bob Hasenfratz

 

Beyond the Tomb: Ancrene Wisse and Lay Piety by Cate Gunn

 

The Anchoritic Elements of Holkham Misc. 41 by Catherine Innes-Parker

 

‘Closyd in an hows of ston’: Discources of Anchoritism and The Book of Margery Kempe by Liz Herbert McAvoy

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