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humanities 173 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 controversial queen; Fradenburg=s attention to literary depictions of Margaret is unfortunately not reflected here. Here, involved contexts substitute for specific findings. Several essays in the collection purport to develop connections between literature and history in medieval Scotland. At the start of >The Scottish Gaze,= Benjamin T. Hudson promises to identify the >literary flavour= to the historical tradition founded in Iona and continued at Dunkeld; specific literary qualities B sobriquets, archaisms, refrains, and ethical comment B only begin to emerge at the end of this essay. In >Off quhat nacioun art thow?= B studying the assertion of national feeling in Hary=s Wallace B Richard J. Moll draws deeply on R. James Goldstein=s The Matter of Scotland but insufficiently on recent research into Lowland attitudes towards Gaelic language and culture. The recurrent derivativeness of the work seems at times inadvertent: in >Carnival at Court,= on William Dunbar=s dream vision >Off Februar the fyiftene nycht,= Mary E. Robbins indicates no awareness of the by-now standard Bakhtinian readings of Dunbar by Deanna Evans and Joanne Norman, and surveys ground thoroughly covered already. It is thus a pleasure to come upon Elizabeth Ewan=s >Many Injurious Words.= Subtly contextualized, skilfully paced, and rich in implication, this essay advances our understanding of the motives and provocations for latemedieval Scottish women=s recourse to verbal and physical assault. Likewise, Andrea Budgey=s engrossing survey of the evidence for the performance of instrumental music in medieval Scotland promisingly emphasizes the continued Irish influence on Scottish musicians. In sum, Ewan=s enlivening catholicity of reference and instance is too little emulated: for all its celebration of the rise of Scottish studies in the last decade, there is a depressingly retrospective feeling about this volume. (DAVID J. PARKINSON) Ilse E. Friesen. The Female Crucifix: Images of St. Wilgefortis since the Middle Ages Wilfrid Laurier University Press. x, 174. $45.00 This wide-ranging, well-organized, and clearly written book examines from an art-historical perspective the cult of a once widely venerated (and now little known) saint, who went under the name not only of Wilgefortis (probably derived either from virgo fortis >strong virgin= or from hilge vratz >holy face=), but also K├╝mmernis, Uncumber, Ontcommer, and Liberata (all of which mean >unencumbered,= >freed=). The saint=s legend, with some regional and temporal variations, is based on the figure of a young woman, daughter of a heathen king of Sicily (or Provence), and promised in marriage to a king of Portugal. Converted to Christianity, Wilgefortis vowed to remain a virgin like the Virgin Mary. She was imprisoned and tortured on her father=s orders because of her refusal to enter into this marriage and 174 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 received the >gift= of a beard from Christ, so that she would no longer be attractive as a marriage partner. Her father, infuriated at her deformation, had her crucified. This story, in conjunction with various local accretions, made Wilgefortis the object of devotion by those in trouble, especially those facing enforced marriages, by the raped and abused, by prisoners and soldiers, and by the dying. Friesen carefully traces the likely origins of the art associated with Wilgefortis B paintings and sculptures B beginning with the famous Volto Santo crucifix in Lucca, Italy, dating from the twelfth or thirteenth century. She shows how the robed figure on the cross, with its slightly swollen breasts, eventually came to be confused with the female saint, who then developed an iconography of her own. The cult stretched from England to the Tyrol and flourished in the late Middle Ages, even extending into the Baroque era, before being officially discouraged. In an effort to track down its artistic remains, Friesen made several field trips, some of them to remote parts of the Tyrol, uncovering works long forgotten, some damaged, some locked away. The central chapters of the book focus on England, Holland, Bavaria (Neufahrn, Burghausen), and western Austria. Accompanying her discussion of the cult and its artistic representations is a series of twentyfour plates, conveniently keyed in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 173-174
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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