Medieval Romance and the Construction of Heterosexuality

Hardcover | December 15, 2007

byLouise M. Sylvester

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This book interrogates our ideas about heterosexuality through examination of medieval romance narratives. Familiar configurations of romantic fiction such as male desire overwhelming feminine reluctance and the aloof masculine hero undone by love derive from this period. This book tests current theories of language and desire through stylistic analysis, examining transitivity choices and speech acts in sexual encounters and conversations in medieval romances. In the context of current preoccupations with gender and sexuality, and consent in rape cases, this study is of interest to scholars investigating language and sexuality as well as those researching and teaching medieval literature and culture.

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This book interrogates our ideas about heterosexuality through examination of medieval romance narratives. Familiar configurations of romantic fiction such as male desire overwhelming feminine reluctance and the aloof masculine hero undone by love derive from this period. This book tests current theories of language and desire through ...

Louise M. Sylvester is Senior Lecturer in English Language at the University of Westminster. She is the author of Studies in the Lexical Field of Expectation (1994); co-author of Middle English Word Studies: a Word and Author Index (2000); co-editor of Lexis and Texts in Early English: Studies presented to Professor Jane Roberts (2001...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.62 inPublished:December 15, 2007Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230602789

ISBN - 13:9780230602786

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Table of Contents

Constructing the Heterosexual Contract * Romance and Rape * The Sadistic Hero * Dynamics of Consensual Heterosex * Romance Debased

Editorial Reviews

"This study makes a significant and needed contribution to Chaucer studies. It provides an attractive application of close linguistic analysis to discuss central medieval texts including Chaucer, in the context of current interests in gender and sexuality. Filled with precise and measurable observations -  sometimes counter-intuitive - it lays down a marker for less textually observant theoretical approaches. It is written with verve and style, engages with issues of topical interest and encourages a sharp, intellectual approach to the text – not only of Chaucer, but of often neglected medieval romances."--Rosalind Field, Royal Holloway University of London