Rhetoric of the Anchorhold: Space, Place and Body Within Discourses of Enclosure

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This volume of essays focuses on religious reclusion in England—commonly referred to as anchoritic enclosure—which reached the height of its popularity, particularly for women, in the later Middle Ages. Examining this extraordinary phenomenon of voluntary, permanent solitary enclosure in a cell attached to a church from a number of different perspectives, Rhetoric of the Anchorhold demonstrates how the rhetoric of this form of enclosure became a key part of religious discourse. Exploring how the anchorhold’s ...

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Overview

This volume of essays focuses on religious reclusion in England—commonly referred to as anchoritic enclosure—which reached the height of its popularity, particularly for women, in the later Middle Ages. Examining this extraordinary phenomenon of voluntary, permanent solitary enclosure in a cell attached to a church from a number of different perspectives, Rhetoric of the Anchorhold demonstrates how the rhetoric of this form of enclosure became a key part of religious discourse. Exploring how the anchorhold’s associations traveled into lay culture, this volume argues for the centrality of anchoritic spirituality to the religious climate of the Middle Ages in spite of its seemingly marginalized—and solitary—status.

 

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Liz Herbert McAvoy is lecturer in the Department of English at Swansea University.

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Table of Contents

Series Editors' Preface

Acknowledgements

List of Figures, Tables and Plates

List of Abbreviations

Notes on Contributors

 

1   Introduction: Place, Space and the Body within Anchoritic Rhetoric

     Liz Herbert McAvoy

 

I    Public Performance: Rhetoric and Place

 

2   Spaces of Reclusion: Notarial Records of Urban Eremeticism in Medieval Siena

     Allison Clark

 

3   Ceremonies of Enclosure: Rite, Rhetoric and Reality

     E.A. Jones

 

4   'He speaks to Me as if I was a public meeting'" Rhetoric and Audience in the Works of the Ancrene Wisse Group

     Bella Millett

 

5   Private Meditations and Public Discourse: Ancrene Wisse and Sermon Rhetoric

    Cate Gunn

 

II  Private Performance: Rhetoric and Space

 

6   Inner Space as Speaking Space in Ancrene Wisse

    Anna McHugh

 

7   Privacy, Exile and the Rhetoric of Solitude in the Medieval English Anchoritic Tradition

    Michelle M. Sauer

 

8   Gender, Rhetoric and Space in the Speculum Inclusorum, Letter to a Bury Recluse and the Strange Case of Christina Carpenter

     Liz Herbert McAvoy

 

9   Julian of Norwich and St Bridget of Sweden: Creating Intimate Space with God

     Laura Saetveit Miles

 

10 Julian of Norwich and the Rhetoric of the Impersonal

    Fumiko Yoshikawa

 

III  Bodily Performance: Rhetoric and Corporeality

 

11  From Anchorhold to Cell of Self-Knowledge: Points along a History of the Human Body

     Anne Savage

 

12 The Childhood of Christ and the Infancy of the Soul in Aelred's De Iesu Puero Duodenni

     Robin Gilbank

 

13  Eremita et Latro: Discourses of Hermits and Robbers as the 'Rhetoric of the Outsider'

     Karl-Heinz Steinmetz

 

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Appendix: The Letters Concerning the Enclosure of Christina Carpenter

Index

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