Impolitic Bodies: Poetry, Saints, and Society in Fifteenth-Century England / Edition 1

Impolitic Bodies: Poetry, Saints, and Society in Fifteenth-Century England / Edition 1

by Sheila Delany
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195109899

ISBN-13: 9780195109894

Pub. Date: 12/28/1997

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

This pioneering book explores the work of English Augustinian friar Osbern Bokenham, an ardent Yorkist on the eve of the "Wars of the Roses" and a gifted poet. Sheila Delany focuses on a manuscript written in 1447, the "Legend of Holy Women." Narrating the lives and ordeals of thirteen heroic and powerful saints, this was the first all-female

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Overview

This pioneering book explores the work of English Augustinian friar Osbern Bokenham, an ardent Yorkist on the eve of the "Wars of the Roses" and a gifted poet. Sheila Delany focuses on a manuscript written in 1447, the "Legend of Holy Women." Narrating the lives and ordeals of thirteen heroic and powerful saints, this was the first all-female legendary in English, much of it commissioned by wealthy women patrons in the vicinity of Clare Priory, Suffolk, where Bokenham lived. Delany structures her book around the image of the human body. First is the corpus of textual traditions within which Bokenham wrote: above all, the work of his two competing masters, St. Augustine and Geoffrey Chaucer. Next comes the female body and its parts as represented in hagiography, with Bokenham's distinctive treatment of the body and the corporeal semiotic of his own legendary. Finally, the image of the body politic allows Delany to examine the relation of Bokenham's work to contemporary political life. She analyzes both the legendary and the friar's translation of a panegyric by the late-classical poet Claudian. The poetry is richly historized by Delany's reading of it in the context of succession crises, war, and the connection of women to political power during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195109894
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
12/28/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile:
1400L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
1Introductions3
2The Literary Corpus29
3The Friar as Critic44
4Impolitic Bodies I: Head, Feet, Face, Womb70
5Impolitic Bodies II: Tongue, Mouth, Language89
6Impolitic Bodies III: Breast, Genital, Gut, and All106
7The Body Politic127
8Sexual-Textual Politics160
8Last Things and Afterlives185
Notes205
Bibliography215
Index233

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