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Reviews 225 and the strategies by which dissenting opinions are marginalised or rigorously expelled or actually incorporated into the hegemonic order, becoming effectively neutralised in the process or even leading to concessionary alterations in the ideology of 'common sense'. W h e n Strohm asserts, as he does several times, that Lancastrian attempts to control consensus completely were bound to fail, this failure can be explained in terms of the constant struggle between top-down and bottom-up pressures which accounts for the shifting nature of hegemonic power. But because textual constructions of truth are associated almost entirely with individuals in Strohm's readings, any discussion of institutional discourse or of the institutional locations of hegemonic power other than in the actual persons of the two Henrys themselves is more or less absent. It is as if an economist were to write about thefreemarket without mentioning capitalism. Within the contours of its N e w Historicist model, however, this historical and textual study of a significant period is as successful and ground-breaking as i t s predecessor. Strohm's interpretations ofthe Lollard movement and ofHoccleve's and Lydgate's Lancastrian poetry are likely to set a standard for future discussions. Given Strohm's understanding of the nature oftexts, both historical and literary, and his facility for identifying strategies of textual evasion, his book is a major contribution to the theory and practice ofboth historiography and textual criticism. Helen Fulton Department ofEnglish University of Sydney Terpstra, Nicholas, ed., The Politics ofRitual Kinship: Confraternities and Socia Order in Early Modern Italy, (Cambridge Studies in Italian History and Culture), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000; cloth; pp. xi, 317. Excellent research into the confraternities of Renaissance Italy continues unabated. Archives throughout Italy allow scholars from a wide range of disciplines to pursue research on subjects ranging across the spectrum from individual and collective lay piety to civic and ecclesiastical control. Recent important essay collections have included John Patrick Donnelly, S. J. and Michael W . Maher, S. J. eds, Confraternities and Catholic Reform in Italy, France, and Spain (Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies 44; Kirksville, Missouri, Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1999) and Barbara Wisch and 226 Reviews Diane Cole Ahl eds, Ritual, Spectacle, Image: Confraternities and the Visual A in the Italian Renaissance (New York, Cambridge University Press, 2000). In the present volume, Nicholas Terpstra, a distinguished scholar of the confraternities ofBologna, has brought together afinecollection of Italian, North American, British and Australian scholars, established and new, on the theme of the confraternities from the late Middle Ages through to the eighteenth century. Thefirstessay is a tour deforce by Christopher Black who surveys and characterises confraternal studies since 1960, and links in to the excellent bibliography provided on pp. 279-313. Importantly, Black sees beyond the welltrodden axis of Rome-Florence-Venice to other centres, and values both the new historiography that develops out of anthropological and sociological hypotheses, and what Terpstra terms 'the stricter discipline' of positivist historiography. In 'Homosociality and Civic (Dis)Order in Late Medieval Italian Confraternities', Jennifer Fisk Rondeau looks beyond the family as the primary locus of the homosocial bonds that maintain social order to the brotherhood of the confraternity. In this context class rather than gender relations dominate the field of attraction and repression, and a new anxiety emerges, leading to disorder. Giovanna Casagrande, in 'Confraternities and Lay Female Religiosity in Late Medieval and Renaissance Umbria', attempts to determine the real worth (valere) of w o m e n in these confraternities, rather than their simple presence (esserci). Although excluded from flagellant practices, they participated in Marian groups and in a constantly expanding space for religious female action, but for women who wished to maintain their lay-secular status, confraternal space offered only a limited role. O n a similar theme, Anna Esposito makes an acute analysis of the evidence of gender and class participation in relation to the prescriptions of the statutes, in 'Men and W o m e n in Roman Confraternities in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries: Roles, Functions, Expectations'. In 'The Bounds of Community: Commune, Parish, Confraternity, and Charily at the D a w n of a N e w Era in Cortona', Daniel...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 225-228
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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