Woman As Hero In Old English Literature

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Chance (English, Rice University) sees women in Anglo-Saxon literature as heroic rather than peripheral. Good women are modeled on the Virgin Mary, bad ones on Eve. Less obvious is woman's role as ``peace-weaver'': through marriage and childbearing, she linked tribes; through her ritual role in the mead-hall, she strengthened the comitatus. Grendel's vengeful mother, then, is an ``inversion'' of the Anglo-Saxon ideal of woman. The book is a useful supplement to the more general works on Anglo-Saxon literature focusing on man the warrior; its primary audience is the specialist in the period or the student of women in literature. Margaret Hallissy, English Dept., Long Island Univ., C.W. Post Campus, Greenvale, N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597522601
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 174

Meet the Author

Jane Chance, Professor of English and Women and the Study of Gender at Rice University , has published twenty books and many articles and reviews on medieval women, medieval feminist historiography and mythography, Geoffrey Chaucer, and modern medievalism (Tolkien in particular), among other topics. Her most recent book is a pioneering collection of biographical profiles and memoirs entitled Women Medievalists and the Academy (2005), with seventy contributors. Among her other books are Christine de Pizan's "Letter of Othea to Hector" (1990), Medieval Mythography: From Roman North Africa to the School of Chartres, AD 433-1177 (1994)—winner of the 1994 South Central Modern Language Association Book Award—and several collections, including Gender and Text in the Later Middle Ages (1996). Her essay on Beowulf, "The Structural Unity of Beowulf: The Problem of Grendel's Mother," has been reprinted six times, most recently in the Norton Beowulf critical edition (2001). Her essay "Classical Myth and Gender in the Letters of Abelard and Heloise: Glossed, Gloss, Glossator," published in Listening to Heloise, won the first Best Essay Prize offered by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship in 2005. General editor of the Library of Medieval Women and two other series, she has received many fellowships and has directed two NEH summer seminars/institutes.

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