Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England

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Boydell & Brewer, 2001 - History - 343 pages
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This work explores and untangles the theme of rape, and its counterpart ravishment, in Anglo-French cultural tradition between the disintegration of the classical world and the Renaissance. Tracing debate and dialogue across intellectual and literary discourses, Corinne Saunders places Middle English literary portrayals of rape and ravishment in the context of shifting legal, theological and medical attitudes. The treatment of rape and ravishment is considered across a wide range of literary genres: hagiography, where female saints are repeatedly threatened with rape; legendary history, as in the stories of Lucretia and Helen; and romance, where acts of rape and ravishment challenge and shape chivalric order, and romance heroes are conceived through rape. Finally, the ways in which Malory and Chaucer write and rewrite rape and ravishment are examined.Dr CORINNE SAUNDERS is Lecturer in Medieval Studies, Department of English, University of Durham.
 

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Contents

Rape and Raptus
33
Canon Law Theology and Popular Teaching
76
Saintly Women
120
Lucretia and Helen of Troy
152
Structures of Possession
187
Malorys Morte Darthur A Romance Retrospective
234
Chaucers Narrative of Rape
265
Conclusion
311
Index
337
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About the author (2001)

Corinne Saunders is Lecturer at the University of Durham. Her previous publications include "Forest of Medieval Romance" (1993) and "Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England" (2001).

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