The Case for Women in Medieval Culture

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Overview

The Case for Women surveys extant writings formally defending women in the Middle Ages; breaks new ground by identifying a source for profeminine argument in biblical apocrypha; offers a series of explorations of the background and circulation of central arguments on behalf of women; and seeks to situate relevant texts by Christine de Pizan, Chaucer, Abelard, and Hrotsvitha in relation to these arguments. Topics covered range from the 'privileges' of women, and pro-Eve polemic, to the social and moral strengths attributed to women, and to the powerful models - frequently disruptive of patriarchal complacency - presented by Old and New Testament women. The contribution made by these emphases (which are not to be confused with 'feminism' in a modern sense) to medieval constructions of gender is throughout critically assessed, and the book concludes by asking how far defenders were controlled by, or able to query, assumptions about what was 'natural' (and therefore imagined inflexible) in gender theory.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...it supplies an indispensable counterweight to what nonmedievalists (and many medievalists) still see as the dominant tradition....What is more, like many of the writers he interprets, he does so with both intelligent zeal and sprightly wit."--Modern Philology

"In a work richly informed by his knowledge of medieval texts, contemporary criticism, and gender theory, Blamires argues persuasively that a strong case for women was available by the late Middle Ages."--Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198186304
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,055,200
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Wales
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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. The Formal Case: The Corpus
2. The Formal Case: Origins, Procedures
3. Honouring Mothers
4. Eve and the Privileges of Women
5. The Stable Sex
6. Exemplifying Feminine Stability
7. Profeminine Role Models
8. The Formal Case in Abelard, Chaucer, Christine de Pizan
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

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