Male Authors, Female Readers: Representation and Subjectivity in Middle English Devotional Literature
Although written to increase their female audience's religious fervor, devotional texts implicitly promoted cultural values drawn from other discourses as well. Within the same text, Bartlett shows, a woman reader might be invited to identify not only with the temptress reviled by misogynistic ascetics, but simultaneously with the courtly domina, the supportive spiritual friend of the author, or with the erotic sponsa Christi. Because of the varying levels of literacy of medieval women readers, however - as well as the abundance of competing representations of those readers - the overt messages of devotional texts were interrupted and distorted. As Bartlett analyzes the complex relationship between misogynistic literature and the development of female subjectivity in the Middle Ages, she helps refute the assumption common among feminist critics that women necessarily internalize negative portrayals.
An appendix lists and describes all extant books and manuscripts that were owned by medieval English nuns and convents.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Abbey Aelred of Rievaulx Aelred's anchoress Ancrene Riwle Ancrene Wisse antifeminism ascetic Benedictine Blessed Virgin Mary Bodleian body Cambridge University Press Carthusian Christ church Cistercian Cistercian Publications Coll conventions courtly cultural desire EETS Elizabeth English devotional texts example female audience female readers fifteenth-century gender Grenehalgh Hampole Harley Holy Ghost identification ideology institutione inclusarum James Hogg Jesus Kempe's Lady late medieval late Middle Ages Latin Library literacy London lord lover male authors Manuscripts Margaret Margery Kempe Mary and St Medieval England medieval English medieval women meditation Middle English devotional misogynistic misogyny mixed-sex monastic monks narratives nuns nuptial contemplation offers Oxford University Press Passion piety prayer Priory Psalterium religious Richard Rolle Rolle's romance Saint sexual sister social soul spiritual friendship sweet Syon Syon Abbey text's texts for women textual tion tradition trans translation treatises twelfth-century University of Exeter Watson woman women readers Writings xii Frutes York