Saints Lives and Womens Literary Culture, 1150-1300: Virginity and its Authorizations

Hardcover | March 15, 2001

byJocelyn Wogan-Browne

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Writing by and for women in the twelfth and thirteenth century in England is less well known than that of the later medieval period of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. This is the first book-length exploration of a rich literary culture embracing several vernaculars as well as Latin. Itfocuses particularly on women's uses and adaptations of the powerful ideal of virgin sanctity. Saints' lives were used by lay and religious women in a range of ways, whether as exemplary of vocational biography, as historiography, as texts in the politics of court and convent, or as vernaculartheology. As a sampling of this earlier literary culture, saints' lives suggest that there is a wealth of texts and manuscripts which need further study before we can map the literary and linguistic history of women in medieval England.

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Writing by and for women in the twelfth and thirteenth century in England is less well known than that of the later medieval period of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. This is the first book-length exploration of a rich literary culture embracing several vernaculars as well as Latin. Itfocuses particularly on women's uses and adapt...

Jocelyn Wogan-Browne is at Fordham University, NY.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:330 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.91 inPublished:March 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198112793

ISBN - 13:9780198112792

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations and figuresList of AbbreviationsIntroduction: Women's Literary Culture in 12th and 13th-century England1. The Virgin Estate2. Virginity and the Gift3. Virgin Passions: Romance, Raptus, Ritual4. Honorary Virginities5. Beyond Enclosure: The Lives of a Widow6. Virgin Authority and its Transmission7. The Virgin SpeaksConclusionBibliographyIndex