Medieval Romance and the Construction of Heterosexuality

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Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 - History - 202 pages
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This book interrogates our ideas about heterosexuality through examination of medieval romance narratives. Familiar configurations of romantic fiction such as male desire overwhelming feminine reluctance and the aloof masculine hero undone by love derive from this period. This book tests current theories of language and desire through stylistic analysis, examining transitivity choices and speech acts in sexual encounters and conversations in medieval romances. In the context of current preoccupations with gender and sexuality, and consent in rape cases, this study is of interest to scholars investigating language and sexuality as well as those researching and teaching medieval literature and culture.

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About the author (2008)

Louise M. Sylvester is Senior Lecturer in English Language at the University of Westminster. She is the author of Studies in the Lexical Field of Expectation (1994); co-author of Middle English Word Studies: a Word and Author Index (2000); co-editor of Lexis and Texts in Early English: Studies presented to Professor Jane Roberts (2001); and Teaching Chaucer (2007) as well as essays on Middle English and cognitive approaches to lexicographical resources.

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