Constructing beauty, constructing gender
in Gender, nation and conquest in the high Middle Ages
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Nest’s beauty is a central motif in interpretations of her and is key to the construction of her as the ‘Welsh Helen of Troy’. Her beauty is particularly emphasized in genres such as modern popular interpretations of her in creative fiction. Her inscription as a great beauty is a result of interpretations of the Brut, and her beauty authorizes the actions of Owain ap Cadwgan’s abduction. The chapter consider the importance of beauty in selected texts to consider how it was portrayed; the analysis examines beauty’s meanings and how it was used by authors to authorize agency and power.

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