Covert Operations: The Medieval Uses of Secrecy

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University of Pennsylvania Press, May 28, 2012 - Law - 304 pages
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Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Book

In Covert Operations, Karma Lochrie brings the categories and cultural meanings of secrecy in the Middle Ages out into the open. Isolating five broad areas—confession, women's gossip, medieval science and medicine, marriage and the law, and sodomitic discourse—Lochrie examines various types of secrecy and the literary texts in which they are played out. She reads texts as central to Middle English studies as the "Parson's Tale," the "Miller's Tale," the Secretum Secretorum, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as well as a broad range of less familiar works, including a gynecological treatise and a little-known fifteenth-century parody in which gossip and confession become one. As she does so she reveals a great deal about the medieval past—and perhaps just as much about the early development of the concealments that shape the present day.


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Introduction or Dark Matter
Gossip Women and Indiscreet Secrets
The Secret of Secrets and
Covert Women and Their Mysteries
Sodomy and Other Female Perversions

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About the author (2012)

Karma Lochrie is Ruth Halls Professor of English at Indiana University. She is the author of Margery Kempe and Translations of the Flesh, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.