Women of the Gilte Legende: A Selection of Middle English Saints Livesby Larissa Tracy
The 'Gilte Legende' was widely read as a model for everyday life, including the education of women through examples set by early Christian martyrs. This book divides the lives of female saints into: the "ryght hooly virgins", who vocally defend their bodies against Roman persecution; "holy mothers", who give up their traditional role to pursue a life of contemplation; the "repentant sinners", who convert and voice their defiance against a society that demanded silence in women; and the "holy transvestites", who cast off their gender identity to find absolution and salvation. Their lives reach through the ages to speak to a modern audience, forcing a re-examination of women's roles in the medieval period.
LARISSA TRACY is Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Georgetown University and George Mason University.
Series editor JANE CHANCE
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