The Last Plantagenet Consorts: Gender, Genre, and Historiography, 1440-1627

Hardcover | June 19, 2012

byKavita Mudan Finn

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Most modern accounts of fifteenth-century English queens understandably focus on separating what really happened from what was fabricated. What has not been considered in any detail, however, is the fabrications themselves as narratives, and as reflections of questions and anxieties that haunted their writers. By focusing on the relationship between gender and genre and the way embedded literary narratives echo across texts as disparate as chronicles, parliamentary proceedings, diplomatic correspondence, ballads, poetry, and drama, this study reveals hitherto unexplored tensions within these texts, generated by embedded narratives and their implications.

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Most modern accounts of fifteenth-century English queens understandably focus on separating what really happened from what was fabricated. What has not been considered in any detail, however, is the fabrications themselves as narratives, and as reflections of questions and anxieties that haunted their writers. By focusing on the relati...

Kavita Mudan Finn currently holds lecturer positions at the University of Maryland at College Park and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where she teaches medieval and early modern literature. She received her doctorate in English Literature from the University of Oxford in 2010. She has published articles in several edited c...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 8.93 × 5.63 × 0.91 inPublished:June 19, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230392989

ISBN - 13:9780230392984

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"This book makes a significant contribution to the debate about defining female identity and will be of interest to, among others, scholars in English literature, drama, history, and gender studies. Utilizing a wide range of documents, Mudan Finn examines representations of the last Plantagenet consorts as a way of revealing authorial anxieties and fears concerning these women's exercise of power." - Renaissance Quarterly "The Last Plantagenet Consorts combines exhaustive research with a subtle and complex argument about historiography, female agency, and the power of narrative - topics that remain provocative and timely." - Journal of British Studies "The range and scope of the materials Kavita Mudan Finn analyzes is impressive, covering well-known historical texts, such as Vergil, More, Hall, and Holinshed, as well as less well-known works. The care with which she compares the ways in which the works under consideration emphasize inter-textual connections between the literature and history, heretofore unexamined in sufficient detail, is laudable, and the study will make a significant contribution to recent interest in defining female identity. By combining readings of historical perspectives with literary works, Mudan Finn is able to evoke an insightful examination of the last Plantagenet consorts, with emphases on female voices, rather than on male reactions to those voices. The book will appeal to a wide audience - those interested in literary, cultural, historical, and gender studies." - Debra Barrett-Graves, professor, Department of English, California State University, East Bay "The Last Plantagent Consorts takes its reader on a captivating journey that spans 150 years of narratives that represent, imagine, and reevaluate five fascinating queens: Margaret of Anjou, Cecily Neville, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne Neville, and Elizabeth of York. Finn's masterful scrutiny of the panoply of sources that depict these queens in a variety of generic incarnations is remarkable. On this journey exploring the ways in which female political agency is narrated - or narrates itself, Finn produces astute readings of some familiar historical and literary texts (such as various chronicles and Shakespeare's first tetralogy) and brings them in a dialog with lesser known and continental sources. The deeply interdisciplinary nature of this book will appeal to readers interested in history, politics, and literature alike. This is a truly encyclopedic study in its scope, its complex methodology, and its perspicacity." - Anna Riehl Bertolet, Associate Professor of English, Auburn University