"Challenges readers to acknowledge the extent to which violence figured in medieval texts and, with this recognition, to reconsider what the works teach us not only about the treatments and troping of victims in the medieval world but also how these patterns are a part of the social history of domestic violence."--Ann Dobyns, University of DenverDomestic Violence in Medieval Texts
addresses a topic critical to our understanding of the medieval past--its notions of childhood and marital relations, its attitudes toward corporal punishment, and its contribution to the shaping of our present-day notions of family values. Using a wide range of late medieval narratives, including poetry, law, sermons, saints' lives, drama, and iconography, the authors explore the meaning and social effects of punitive violence within the domestic sphere. As the first collection to analyze such early manifestations of a problem still afflicting society today, it will be an insightful reference not only for medievalists but for students of literature, history, sociology, psychology, and law as well.Contents:
Introduction, by Eve Salisbury, Georgiana Donavin, and Merrall Llewelyn Price
Part One. Domestic Violence and the Law
1. Interpreting Silence: Domestic Violence in the King's Courts in East Anglia, 1422-1442, by Philippa Maddern
2. The "Reasonable" Laws of Domestic Violence in Late Medieval England, by Emma Hawkes
Part Two. Fictional Histories: Domestic Violence and Literary/Legal Texts
3. Chaucer's "Wife," the Law, and the Middle English Breton Lays, by Eve Salisbury
4. Taboo and Transgression in Gower's Appollonius of Tyre, by Georgiana Donavin
5. Reframing the Violence of the Father: Reverse Oedipal Fantasies in Chaucer's Clerk's, Man of Law's, and Prioress's Tales, by Barrie Ruth Straus
6. Not Safe Even in Their Own Castles: Reading Domestic Violence Against Children in Four Middle English Romances, by Graham N. Drake
7. Domestic Violence in the Decameron, by Marilyn Migiel
8. Reading Riannon: The Problematics of Motherhood in Pwyll Pendeuic, by Christopher G. Nugent
Part Three. Historical Fictions: Domestic Violence in Chronicle, Drama, Hagiography, and Illuminations
9. The "Homicidal Women" Stories in the Roman de Thebes, the Brut Chronicles, and Deschamps' "Ballade 285," by Anna Roberts
10. Noah's Wife: The Shaming of the "Trew," by Garrett P. J. Epp
11. Marriage, Socialization, and Domestic Violence in The Life of Christina of Markyate, by Robert Stanton
12. Imperial Violence and the Monstrous Mother: Cannibalism at the Siege of Jerusalem, by Merrall Llewelyn Price
13. The Feminized World and Divine Violence: Texts and Images of the Apocalypse,
by Anne Laskaya Eve Salisbury is assistant professor of English at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
Georgiana Donavin is associate professor of English at Westminster College, Salt Lake City.
Merrall L. Price has written articles on violence in the Middle Ages and is currently pursuing research on anti-Semitism and reproductive politics in late medieval Europe and contemporary North America.