in Practising shame
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The introductory chapter of Practising Shame lays out the problem of female honour in later medieval England: namely, its problematic reliance on a characteristic (sexual continence) that was revered in women, but also subject to suspicion. This chapter introduces the practices that underpin medieval understandings of female honour, and literature’s role in shaping and articulating those practices in later medieval England. In placing such emphasis on emotion as a practice, and in writing of shamefastness as a practice, Practising Shame contributes to a body of scholarship that is attempting to effect a theoretical shift away from the notion that emotions are something that we ‘have’ (or do not have) and towards the idea that emotions are something that we do. The book’s introduction outlines how shamefastness might be said to constitute an emotional practice and concludes with chapter synopses.

Practising shame

Female honour in later medieval England


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