Cover

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pp. 1 -

Title

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pp. -

Copyright

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pp. -

Contents

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pp. -

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

Blood seems to be everywhere in medieval culture. Christian writers debate the nature of the blood of Christ in the doctrine of transubstantiation, and some of them describe the abuse of Christ’s blood in antisemitic...

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1. Only Women Bleed

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pp. 1-20

In 1975 Alice Cooper released a song entitled “Only Women Bleed.” It is a song about the emotional and physical abuse of women by the men they love, and it is a song that betrays surprisingly medieval-sounding descriptions of gender relations...

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2. The Amenorrhea of War

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pp. 21-40

Blood and war would seem to be a natural pair—it is hard to imagine a battle without blood, as a whole spate of recent movies about World War II have graphically reminded us. Military heroism seems to demand bloodshed, or at least the possibility of bloodshed. But only one kind of blood is conventionally shed in war: men’s blood. To be sure, women...

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3. The Gender of Sacrifice

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pp. 41-60

In the twelfth-century Philomena attributed to Chr

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4. Menstruation and Monstrous Birth

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pp. 61-76

In the preceding chapter I claimed that the exclusion of mothers from sacrificial practice corresponds to a particular way of conceptualizing lineage. That is, the gendering of sacrifice corresponds to the gendered hierarchy promoted in representations of blood ties ...

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5. The Scene of Parturition

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pp. 77-91

That a child shares its mother’s blood is made vividly clear in birth:the umbilical cord offers striking evidence that the maternal relationship is a blood relationship. The blood of parturition further demonstrates a child’s origins in its mother’s blood, though the evidence of birth is often unacknowledged in symbolic representations of blood relationships, as...

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6. The Grail and Its Hosts

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pp. 92-109

This study has focused primarily on the metaphorical or figural meanings of blood in medieval fictions—on the valorization of men’s public bloodshed in contrast to the private and hidden bloodshed of women in the construction of military heroism...

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Conclusion: Bleeding for Love

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pp. 110-118

In the preceding chapters, I have identified a number of medieval narratives in which blood plays an important role in defining the gendered values that structure the stories they recount. And I have argued that in these representations blood itself comes to be gendered, and to naturalize gendered cultural values. I have examined...

Notes

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pp. 119-154

Bibliography

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pp. 155-172

Index

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pp. 173-176

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 177- 178

One of the greatest pleasures of working on this book was talking about it with colleagues and friends. I am very grateful to David Biale, Caroline Jewers, Catherine M. Jones, Ruth Mazo Karras, Nadia Margolis, Leslie Zarker Morgan, Jerome A. Singerman, and Valerie Traub for suggesting...