Medieval Virginities by Anke BernauMedieval Virginities by Anke Bernau

Medieval Virginities

EditorAnke Bernau, Ruth Evans, Sarah Salih

Paperback | September 18, 2003

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From Joan of Arc to Britney Spears, the figure of the virgin has been the subject of considerable scholarly and popular interest. Yet virginity itself is a paradoxical condition, both perfect and monstrous, present and absent, often visible only insofar as it is under threat.

Medieval Virginities traces some of the specific manifestations of virginity in late medieval culture. It shows how virginity is represented in medical, legal, hagiographical and historical texts, as well as how the seductive but dangerous figure of the virgin affects the aims and objectives of these texts. Because virginity is so often thought of as self-identical and ahistorical, Medieval Virginities aims to theorize and historicize its various manifestations and to demonstrate how representations and discussions of virginity continuously shift and change.

The variety of subjects and disciplines represented here testify both to the elusiveness of virginity and to its lasting appeal and importance. Medieval Virginities shows how virginity's inherent ambiguity highlights the problems, contradictions and discontinuities lurking within medieval ideologies. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in questions of gender identity, conceptions of the body, subjectivity, truth and representation in medieval culture.

Anke Bernau is a lecturer in the School of English, Communication, and Philosophy at Cardiff University. Ruth Evans is a senior lecturer in the Department of English Studies at the University of Stirling. Sarah Salih is a lecturer in the School of English and American Studies at the University of East Anglia.
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Title:Medieval VirginitiesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 8.47 × 5.38 × 0.69 inPublished:September 18, 2003Publisher:University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing DivisionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0802086373

ISBN - 13:9780802086372

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Reviews

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Series Editors' Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Abbreviations
    1. Introduction: Virginities and Virginity Studies - Sarah Salih, Anke Bernalj and Ruth Evans
    2. When is a Bosom Not a Bosom?: Problems with 'Erotic Mysticism' - Sarah Salih
    3. The Sheela-na-Gig: An Incongruous Sign of Sexual Purity? - Juliette Dor
    4. Virginity and Chastity Tests in Medieval Welsh Prose - Jane Cartwright
    5. Four Virgins' Tales: Sex and Power in Medieval Law - Kim M. Phillips
    6. The Labour of Continence: Masculinity and Clerical Virginity - John H. Arnold
    7. Edward the Celibate, Edward the Saint: Virginity in the Construction of Edward the Confessor - Joanna Huntington
    8. Alchemy and the Exploration of Late Medieval Sexuality - Jonathan Hughes
    9. The Jew, the Host and the Virgin Martyr: Fantasies of the Sentient Body - Ruth Evans
    10. Can the Virgin Martyr Speak? - Robert Mills
    11. 'Saint, Witch, Man, Maid or Whore?': Joan of Arc and Writing History - Anke Bernau
    12. Virginity Now and Then: A Response to Medieval Virginities - Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Editorial Reviews

List of IllustrationsSeries Editors’ PrefaceAcknowledgementsNotes on ContributorsAbbreviationsIntroduction: Virginities and Virginity Studies - Sarah Salih, Anke Bernalj and Ruth Evans When is a Bosom Not a Bosom?: Problems with ’Erotic Mysticism’ - Sarah SalihThe Sheela-na-Gig: An Incongruous Sign of Sexual Purity? - Juliette DorVirginity and Chastity Tests in Medieval Welsh Prose - Jane CartwrightFour Virgins’ Tales: Sex and Power in Medieval Law - Kim M. PhillipsThe Labour of Continence: Masculinity and Clerical Virginity - John H. ArnoldEdward the Celibate, Edward the Saint: Virginity in the Construction of Edward the Confessor - Joanna HuntingtonAlchemy and the Exploration of Late Medieval Sexuality - Jonathan HughesThe Jew, the Host and the Virgin Martyr: Fantasies of the Sentient Body - Ruth EvansCan the Virgin Martyr Speak? - Robert Mills’Saint, Witch, Man, Maid or Whore?’: Joan of Arc and Writing History - Anke BernauVirginity Now and Then: A Response to Medieval Virginities - Jocelyn Wogan-BrowneBibliographyIndex