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Jill Fitzgerald

with a necklace of gemstones, Lucifer conceives his crimes by saying that ‘he might be equal to the Lord with his own powers’. Aldhelm proposes that chastity means little if one succumbs to pride and vanity, which he often figures as a fierce, tyrannical queen. 3 Aldhelm’s theory of the fall reveals the narrative’s capacity for reaching a wide audience, even an exclusively female community. And he was not alone. The twelfth-century Ancrene Wisse – a handbook also intended for women – similarly places emphasis on the inherent dangers of vanity and sight. The author

in Rebel angels
The early medieval contexts of Aldhelm’s cat riddle
Megan Cavell

are birds, rather than the mice who were so potentially destructive in monastic settlements and workplaces, injects some moral ambiguity. 47 Indeed, cats would become firmly associated with evil and witchcraft in later medieval and early modern Europe. Douglas Gray maps these associations in British literature from the twelfth-century reference to heretical orgies and cat-/Satan-worship in Walter Map’s De nugis curialium to the thirteenth-century cat of helle in the Ancrene Wisse and the devil-sinner/cat–mouse comparison in the fourteenth- and fifteenth

in Riddles at work in the early medieval tradition
The role of Noah’s wife in the Chester play of Noah’s Flood
Lawrence Besserman

the wood of Cross, a typological layering of implicit meaning is subtly at work, as the contextually anomalous verb leap evokes the leaping in Song of Songs 2:8: ‘The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.’ The leaping of the beloved in this verse was interpreted typologically de bono and de malo by Ambrose, Gregory the Great, and other exegetes and poets, in numerous Latin commentaries, vernacular sermons, and homiletical, mystical, and devotional texts such as the Ancrene Wisse and The Wooing of Our

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
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Mary C. Flannery

I will demonstrate over the course of this book, this emphasis on female circumspection is shared by medieval texts, which depict honour as something that women must safeguard by cultivating and exhibiting their hypervigilance against the possibility of shame. This book investigates the practices that underpin medieval understandings of female honour, and literature's role in shaping and articulating those practices in later medieval England. While thirteenth-century texts such as Hali Meiðhad (a treatise on virginity) and Ancrene Wisse (a

in Practising shame
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Ye goon to … Hereford? Regional devotion and England’s other St Thomas
Daniel Birkholz

(much anticipated) rightful glory: equal to and opposite St Thomas of Canterbury. In discussing the eminent R.A. Dobson’s attempts to ascertain the provenance of the Ancrene Wisse [Guide for Anchoresses], an early Middle English text comparable to the Harley Lyrics in its semi-canonical standing and South-West Midlands orientation, Cannon observes that ‘the [specific] place Dobson proposed … matters much less than the degree to which he insisted on the importance of some place’. 89 Dobson’s ‘plumping for geographical precision at all costs’ turns out to have

in Harley manuscript geographies
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‘Snail-horn perception’ in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde
Elizabeth Robertson

, who discusses both Troilus’s and Criseyde’s first looks in Gestures and Looks, pp. 127–33. 29 Stanbury, ‘The lover’s gaze’, p. 237. 30 See, for example, the discussion of Dinah, who was blamed for her own rape because of her looking, in Ancrene Wisse, ed. Bella Millett, EETS o.s. 325 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), part two, pp. 20–3. 31 C. M. Woolgar, The Senses in Late Medieval England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), p. 148. 32 Stephen Barney, ‘Explanatory notes’, in Chaucer, The Riverside Chaucer, gen. ed. Benson, p. 1026. 33 Trigg

in Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries
Le Bone Florence of Rome and bourgeois self-making
Felicity Riddy

facing-page translation in Medieval English Prose for Women from the Katherine Group and Ancrene Wisse, eds Bella Millett and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne (Oxford, 1990), pp. 2–41. My quotations are from this translation. 36 Ibid., p. 33. 37 Ibid., pp. 20–1. 38 For a brief and polemical account of medieval dualism, see Jacques le Goff, ‘Body and ideology in the medieval West’, in his The Medieval Imagination, trans. A. Goldhammer (Chicago and London, 1985), pp. 83–5. 39 See, e.g., Caroline Walker Bynum, ‘“And woman his humanity”: female imagery in religious writings of the

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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Shame and the subject of women’s bodies
Mary C. Flannery

Women: Selections from the Katherine Group and Ancrene Wisse , ed. Bella Millett and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), pp. xi–xxxviii (p. xv). R. Howard Bloch surveys the most rigid interpretations of virginity in ‘Chaucer's Maiden's Head: “The Physician's Tale” and the Poetics of Virginity’, Representations 28 (1989), 113–34. Although I am primarily concerned with the implications of female chastity throughout this study, valuable work has also been undertaken in recent years on expectations surrounding, and interpretations of, male chastity and

in Practising shame
Victor Skretkowicz

Library, MS Laud Misc. 381: William L’Isle, Aelfric, and the Ancrene Wisse ’, in The Recovery of Old English , pp. 207–42. 34 See V. Skretkowicz, ‘Symbolic Architecture in Sidney’s New Arcadia ’, Review of English Studies , n.s., xxxiii ( 1982 ), 175

in European erotic romance