Constructions of Widowhood and Virginity in the Middle Ages

Constructions of Widowhood and Virginity in the Middle Ages

by Cindy L. Carlson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0312211368

ISBN-13: 9780312211363

Pub. Date: 12/28/1999

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US

To be a virgin or a widow never promised a stable, uniform status to a woman during the Middle Ages. Rather, these positions were areas of contestation, constructions that did and still do create and interrogate notions of gender roles, areas of power, areas of disability. For example, chastity is an apparent given for both positions, but the chastity involved may

Overview

To be a virgin or a widow never promised a stable, uniform status to a woman during the Middle Ages. Rather, these positions were areas of contestation, constructions that did and still do create and interrogate notions of gender roles, areas of power, areas of disability. For example, chastity is an apparent given for both positions, but the chastity involved may have a number of possible cultural meanings or uses. The articles in Constructions of Widowhood and Virginity in the Middle Ages address many facets of these two female positions in medieval literature: gender constructions; the body and what it means to make it visible, whether in admiration, torture, or martyrdom; issues of physicality and abjection; creations of literary voice for women who write or create situations for them to be written about. A top-notch group of female scholars examines the meanings behind widowhood and virginity both individually and in relation to each other. The focus on both positions in the same volume makes Constructions of Widowhood and Virginity in the Middle Ages an unprecedented work.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312211363
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
12/28/1999
Series:
The New Middle Ages Series
Edition description:
1999
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.03(d)

Table of Contents

Appealing to Ecclesiastical Chivalry: The Widowed Queen in the Encomium Emmae Reginae—Stephanie Hollis
• A Widow’s Chaste Vow: Mapping the Influence of Marie’s La Vie de Sainte Audreé on Isabella, Countess of Suffolk—Virginia Blanton-Whetsell
• Closed Doors: An Epithalamium for Queen Edith, Widow and Virgin—Monika Otter
• Performing Virginity: Sex and Violence in the Katherine Group—Sarah Salih
• The Paradox of Virginity with the Anchoritic Tradition: The Masculine Gaze and the Feminine Body in the Wohunge Group—Susannah Mary Chewning
• Unrepresentable Rape and the Represented Church in Medieval Saints’ Lives—Kathleen Coyne Kelly
• Widowed Virgins, Viragos, and Authority in the Man of Law’s Tale— Christopher C. Baswell
• The Violent Violation of Virginia: Family Violence in the Physician’s Tale—Sandra Pierson Prior
• Between the Living and the Dead: Widows as Heroines of Medieval Romance—Rebecca Hayward
• The Disorder of Violence/The Violence of Order: Abjection in the Prioress’ Tale-Kathleen M. Hobbs
• A Fountain Sealed, a Garden Enclosed: Literary Constructions of the Virgin Mary in Medieval French Story, Drama, and Lyric—Judith M. Davis
• Virginity at Court: The Trials of the Virgin in the N-Town Cycle—Cindy L. Carlson
• Helpful Widows, Virgins in Distress: Women’s Friendship in French Romances of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries—Anna Roberts
• The Widow as Virgin: Desexualized Narrative in the Livre de la Cité des Dames—Angela Jane Weisl
• Transgressive Tears: The Pedagogy of Grief and the Image of the Grieving Widow in Medieval French Culture—Leslie Abend Callahan

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