The women who spoke or wrote in the margins of the Middle Ages--women who were oppressed and diminished by social and religious institutions--often were not literate. Or, if they could read, they did not know how to write. Transforming or subverting Western and patristic traditions associated with the clergy, they also turned to Eastern and North African traditions and to popular oral theater, and focused in their choice of genre on lyric, romance, and confessional autobiography. These essays analyze their texts and reconstruct a medieval feminine aesthetic that begins a rewriting of cultural and literary history.
About the Author
Jane Chance is the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor of English Emerita at Rice University and recipient of an honorary doctorate from Purdue University (2013) as well as NEH and Guggenheim Fellowships. Author or editor of twenty-four other books, she has published Woman as Hero in Old English Literature (1986; rpr. 2005), the prize-winning Medieval Mythography, volumes 1-3 (1994, 2000, 2015) and The Literary Subversions of Medieval Women (2007). Her most recent book is Tolkien, Self and Other: "This Queer Creature" (2016). She is also Series Editor of the Library of Medieval Women (Boydell and Brewer), offering classroom translations of works by medieval women.