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Reassessing the Heroine in Medieval French Literature

Edited by Kathy M. Krause

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“Offers a good representation of recent criticism that seeks to uncover feminine voices in masculine discourse. . . . A fine collection for anyone attempting to become conversant with the contributions recent feminist criticism has made to medieval studies.”—Medieval Review  
 
“The essays effectively underline the variety and range of heroines in this literature, which has been characterized . . . as monolithically misogynous. . . . It is refreshing to see that long-held and, in some cases, canonical views are being challenged, revised, and updated.”—Speculum  
 
“A valuable optic for seeing much more of the feminine literary presence during the period than we have been wont to acknowledge.”—South Atlantic Review  
 
“A useful overview of some of the tricky issues to be debated as we continue in our reassessment of medieval heroines.”—Envoi
 
"These innovative essays are outstanding because they examine well-known works and genres in new ways, and they revise and revitalize our thinking about them."-- Rupert T. Pickens, University of Kentucky


These essays explore the various manifestations of the heroine in medieval French literature and her multiple relationships with discourse, both medieval and modern. From a discussion of 12th-century saints’ lives to an examination of 15th-century farce, they span the Middle Ages, both chronologically and generically. Focused yet considering a wide range of texts, they shine new light on the heroine and how she behaves, including how she herself uses discourse.
Contents
Introduction, by Kathy M. Krause
Part I. Saintly Women: Hagiography, Miracle, and Epic
1. "Cume lur cumpaine et lur veisine": Women's Roles in Anglo-Norman Hagiography, by Duncan Robertson
2. Virgin, Saint, and Sinners: Women in Gautier de Coinci's Miracles de Nostre Dame, by Kathy M. Krause
3. Women’s Voices Raised in Prayer: On the "Epic Credo" in Adenet le Roi's Berte as grans pies, by David Wrisley
Part II. Amorous Women: Romance and Lyric
4. Melusine's Double Binds: Foundation, Transgression, and the Genealogical Romance, by Ana Pairet
5. On Fenice’s Vain Attempts to Revise a Romantic Archetype and Chrétien’s Fabled Hostility to the Tristan Legend, by Joan Grimbert
6. The Lyric Lady in Narrative, by William D. Paden
Part III. Dissenting Women: Lyric and Farce
7. "Fine Words on Closed Ears": Impertinent Women, Discordant Voices, Discourteous Words, by Nadine Bordessoule
8. Poetic Justice: The Revenge of La Guignarde in the Livre des Cent Ballades, by Sally Tartline Carden
9. Woman's Cry: Broken Language, Marital Disputes, and the Poetics of Medieval Farce, by Christopher Lucken

Kathy M. Krause is professor of French at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
 
Contributors: Kathy M. Krause | Nadine Bordessoule | Sally Tartline Carden | Joan Tasker Grimbert | Christopher Lucken | William D. Paden | Ana Pairet | Duncan Robertson | David J. Wrisley

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Offering readers a useful overview of some of the tricky issues to be debated as we continue in our reassessment of medieval heroines.
--Envoi

Offers a good representation of recent criticism that seeks to uncover feminine voices in masculine discourse. . . . A fine collection for anyone attempting to become conversant with the contributions recent feminist criticism has made to medieval studies.
--Medieval Review

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