In this Book

summary
The essays in Medieval Women and Their Objects present multifaceted considerations of the intersection of objects and gender within the cultural contexts of late medieval France and England. Some take a material view of objects, showing buildings, books, and pictures as sites of gender negotiation and resistance and as extensions of women’s bodies. Others reconsider the concept of objectification in the lives of medieval women—either fictional or historical—by looking closely at their relation to gendered material objects, taken literally as women’s possessions and as figurative manifestations of their desires.

Essays in the opening section consider how medieval authors imagined fictional and legendary women using particular objects in ways that reinforce or challenge gender roles. These women bring objects into the orbit of gender identity, using and relating to them in a literal sense, while also taking advantage of their symbolic meanings. The second section focuses on the use of texts both as objects in their own right and as mechanisms by which other objects are defined. The possessors of objects in these essays lived in the world, their lives documented by historical records, yet like their fictional and legendary counterparts, they too used objects for instrumental ends and with symbolic resonances. Contributors to the final section consider the objectification of medieval women’s bodies as well as its limits. While objectification at times seems to allow for a trade in women, authorial attempts to give definitive shapes and boundaries to women’s bodies either complicate the very gender boundaries they are trying to contain or reduce gender into an ideological abstraction.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Dedication to Carolyn P. Collette
  2. Arlyn Diamond
  3. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction: Medieval Women and Their Objects
  2. Jenny Adams, Nancy Mason Bradbury
  3. pp. 1-12
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  1. Part 1. Objects and Gender in a Material World
  1. Chapter 1. The “Thyng Wommen Loven Moost”: The Wife of Bath’s Fabliau Answer
  2. Susanna Fein
  3. pp. 13-38
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  1. Chapter 2. Zenobia’s Objects
  2. Nancy Mason Bradbury
  3. pp. 39-55
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  1. Chapter 3. The Object of Miraculous Song in “The Prioress’s Tale”
  2. Howell Chickering
  3. pp. 56-68
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  1. Part 2. Buildings, Books, and Women’s (Self-)Fashioning
  1. Chapter 4. A Gift from the Queen: The Architecture of the Collège de Navarre in Paris
  2. Michael T. Davis
  3. pp. 69-96
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  1. Chapter 5. Anne of Bohemia and the Objects of Ricardian Kingship
  2. Lynn Staley
  3. pp. 97-122
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  1. Chapter 6. Royal Biography as Reliquary: Christine de Pizan’s Livre des Fais et bonnes meurs du sage roy Charles V
  2. Nadia Margolis
  3. pp. 123-143
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  1. Chapter 7. A Gift, a Mirror, a Memorial: The Psalter-Hours of Mary de Bohun
  2. Jill C. Havens
  3. pp. 144-170
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  1. Chapter 8. “Parchment and Pure Flesh”: Elizabeth de Vere, Countess of the Twelfth Earl of Oxford, and Her Book
  2. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
  3. pp. 171-198
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  1. Part 3. Bodies, Objects, and Objects in the Shape of Bodies
  1. Chapter 9. Objects of the Law: The Cases of Dorigen and Virginia
  2. Eleanor Johnson
  3. pp. 201-228
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  1. Chapter 10. Galatea’s Pulse: Objects, Ethics, and Jean de Meun’s Conclusion
  2. Robert R. Edwards
  3. pp. 229-247
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  1. Chapter 11. Transgender and the Chess Queen in Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess
  2. Jenny Adams
  3. pp. 248-266
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  1. Chapter 12. Statues, Bodies, and Souls: St. Cecilia and Some Medieval Attitudes toward Ancient Rome
  2. C. David Benson
  3. pp. 267-288
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 289-291
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 292-294
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780472122394
Related ISBN
9780472130146
MARC Record
OCLC
965825558
Pages
368
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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