Synopses & Reviews
This book gives a detailed picture of the contributions made by women writers to Western literature from the third century to the thirteenth. Many of the texts Peter Dronke presents and interprets have hitherto remained unknown, or virtually inaccessible; some have never been edited or translated before. The emphasis throughout is on personal testimonies, and on texts that have notable literary or intellectual interest. Thus the book affords many new insights into medieval literature, not only into the writings of renowned women such as Hrotsvitha or Heloise, but also into those of a number of neglected writers who are exceptional in their gifts and individuality. Already highly influential, Women Writers of the Middle Ages continues to be essential reading for specialists and students alike in medieval literature, medieval intellectual history, and women's studies.
'Women Writers of the Middle Ages compels us to re-examine our fundamental assumptions about medieval literature; it forces us to reconsider what constitutes good or even great literature and on what tenets literary canonization operates.' English Language Studies
'This must be one of the best books on women's writing. Mr Dronke is like the Chaucer who took such pains, in his Legend of Good Women, to write in the service of women, literature, elegance and wit.' The Times Literary Supplement
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. From Perpetua to the eighth century; 2. Dhuoda; 3. Hrotsvitha; 4. Personal poetry by women: the eleventh and twelfth centuries; 5. Heloise; 6. Hildegard of Bingen; 7. From Hildegard to Marguerite Porete; Texts; Abbreviations; Notes; Bibliography; Index of manuscripts; General index.