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REVIEWS133 apparel for court jesters and fools with the medieval fabric' (87, note 39). Critics are left to their confusion as to when and how the meaning might have changed. Similar kinds ofminor problems abound: crucial information is left out, presumed, or buried in footnotes. Some of these might well signal inadequate revision: for instance, Hodges discusses 'the Friar's tippet full of knives (lines 233-4), which, in case robbers should beset this group, might be pressed into service, perhaps, by the only housewife in the company' (127), presuming that the reader will remember that the cited lines describe the knives as being 'for to yeven faire wyves' (line 234); this joking aside would work well in a conference setting, but here requires explanation. She later refers to Ascham's remarks' regarding 'peacock-fletched arrows' (140), but indicates what these remarks might be only in a note attached to the previous sentence. Such errors are easy enough to commit when one is too close to one's material; that is why good scholars need good editors. In this same chapter, a thoroughly interesting discussion of the Franklin's 'gipser' is introduced (133-135) then quietly dropped; the discussion picks up again five pages later, mid-paragraph, and continues for another ten pages, to the end of the chapter. A little reorganisation would be welcome. Reorganization would not fix everything, however. Hodges's extensive (and previously published) argument that the Knight's tarnished armour represents an 'historical reality' at odds with literary and allegorical expectation is itself at odds with the rest of the book, which is dominated by allegorical interpretation even of highly realistic details such as the Sergeant's coat, which 'represents...True Justice' (121). She asserts that the absence of'standard romance, epic, and chivalric biography costume signs' in this portrait 'supports the thesis that Chaucer portrays a real, contemporary, rather than an ideal knight' (31), yet argues that the similar omission ofstandard signs in the Sergeant's costuming 'speaks the condemnations left unvoiced by the poet-courtier and literary diplomat' (104). I dwell on problems to the exclusion ofwhat is best about the book in part because I hope for better work in Hodges's companion volume on the religious pilgrims, currently in preparation. I devoutly wish that a revised, corrected, and possibly cheaper edition of the present volume were a possibility. Hodges knows this material well; she needs a careful and forceful editor to help her dress it up to best advantage. GARRETT EPP University ofAlberta ann F. howey, Rewriting the Women of Camelot: Arthurian Popular Fiction and Feminism. Contributions to the Study ofScience Fiction and Fantasy, 93. Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 2001. Pp. xix,i37. isbn: 0-313-31604-x.«59-95Ann Howey's recent book, Rewritingthe Women ofCamelot: Arthurian Popular Fiction andFeminism, is a provocative new study ofthe complex relationship between popular, mass-produced fiction and contemporary versions offeminism. From the vast quantity of fictional retellings of the Arrhurian legends produced in the last three decades, 134ARTHURIANA Howey focuses her discussion on a select group of women writers and their work: Mary Stewart's series starting with The Crystal Cave (1970) and continuing through to The Princeandthe Pilgrim (1995); Gillian Bradshaw's Hawk ofMay (1980), Kingdom ofSummer (1981), and In Winter's Shadow (1982); Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists ofAvalon (1982); and Fay Sampson's Daughter of Tintagel series (from 1989-1992). Stewart, Bradshaw, Bradley and Sampson are undeniably influential participants in the retellings of the Arthurian legends with broad audience appeal; Howey— recognising this influence—further supplements her discussion with a brieflook in a separate chapter at the very popular short story market, specifically six stories by five writers working between 1985 and 1996: Jane Yolen, Phyllis Ann Karr, Mercedes Lackey, Heather Rose Jones and Diana Paxson. Howey divides her discussion ofthe Arthurian retellings into four clearly defined feminist strategies: 'The creation ofcomplex female characters who defy stereotypes, the portrayal offemale characters as protagonists ofstories that are not solely romantic ones, the use ofsuch protagonists as narrators or focal characters, the construction of stories that question narrative conventions' (112). Individual chapters approach these strategies through a reading—occasionally quite...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1539
Print ISSN
1078-6279
Pages
pp. 133-134
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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