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Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England

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Overview

This work explores and untangles the theme of rape, and its counterpart ravishment, in Anglo-French cultural tradition between the disintegration of the classical world and the Renaissance. Tracing debate and dialogue across intellectual and literary discourses, Corinne Saunders places Middle English literary portrayals of rape and ravishment in the context of shifting legal, theological and medical attitudes. The treatment of rape and ravishment is considered across a wide range of literary genres: hagiography, where female saints are repeatedly threatened with rape; legendary history, as in the stories of Lucretia and Helen; and romance, where acts of rape and ravishment challenge and shape chivalric order, and romance heroes are conceived through rape. Finally, the ways in which Malory and Chaucer write and rewrite rape and ravishment are examined.Dr CORINNE SAUNDERS is Lecturer in Medieval Studies, Department of English, University of Durham.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Anencyclopedic review. NOTES AND QUERIES A highly valuable and welcome contribution to this topic. MEDIEVAL REVIEW A rewarding volume. ARTHURIANA Important study. SPECULUM
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780859916103
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/22/2001
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Corinne Saunders is Professor of Medieval Literature at the Department of English Studies, University of Durham.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: The Contemporary and the Contemporaneous 1
1 Secular Law: Rape and Raptus 33
2 The Church: Canon Law, Theology and Popular Teaching 76
3 The Threat of Rape: Saintly Women 120
4 Legendary History: Lucretia and Helen of Troy 152
5 Middle English Romance: Structures of Possession 187
6 Malory's Morte Darthur: A Romance Retrospective 234
7 'A Dede of Men': Chaucer's Narrative of Rape 265
Conclusion 311
Bibliography 319
Index 337
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