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The contested marriage and motherhood of a curious modern woman
Lucy Bland

5 ‘Hunnish scenes’ and a ‘Virgin birth’: the contested marriage and motherhood of a curious modern woman I n March 1923 the Illustrated Sunday Herald informed readers that news of the divorce case Russell v. Russell had ‘spread around the world. It has been more than a divorce case. It has been an intimate drama with the curtain rising and falling on climax after climax.’1 The sexual innuendo here may have been inescapable, for the case had at its heart a debate over sex: how to speak it, and how to perform it. The case involved not only sex, but also

in Modern women on trial
Sexual transgression in the age of the flapper

This book looks at the highly publicised, sensational trials of several young female protagonists in the period 1918-1924. These cases, all presented by the press as morality tales involving drugs, murder, adultery, miscegenation and sexual perversion, are used as a prism through which to identify concerns about modern femininity. The book first examines a libel case, brought by a well-known female dancer against a maverick right-wing MP for the accusation of lesbianism. One aspect of this libel trial involved the drawing up of battle-lines in relation to the construction of a new, post-war womanhood. The book then looks at two inquests and three magistrate-court trials that involved women and drugs; young women in relationships with Chinese men were also effectively in the dock. One way of accessing court proceedings has been via the account of the trial published as part of the Notable British Trial Series. There are no extant trial transcripts. But there are prosecution depositions lodged at the National Archives, much press reportage, and a number of relevant memoirs, all giving a keen sense of the key issues raised by the trial. The book also focuses on an extraordinary divorce case, that of Christabel Russell, involving cross-dressing, claims of a virgin birth, extreme sexual ignorance, and a particular brand of eccentric modern femininity.

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Lucy Bland

commentary, as well as personal memoirs. In Chapter 4, on Marguerite Fahmy, there are no extant trial transcripts, but there are prosecution depositions lodged at the National Archives, much press reportage, and a number of relevant memoirs, all giving a keen sense of the key issues raised by the trial. Chapter 5 centres on an extraordinary divorce case, that of������������ Christabel Russell,�������������������������������������������������������������������� involving cross-dressing, claims of a virgin birth, extreme sexual ignorance, and a particular brand of eccentric

in Modern women on trial
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The birth and growth of major religions

What do we really know of the origins and first spread of major monotheistic religions, once we strip away the myths and later traditions that developed? Creating God uses modern critical historical scholarship alongside archaeology to describe the times and places which saw the emergence of Mormonism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. What was the social, economic and political world in which they began, and the framework of other contemporary religious movements in which they could flourish? What was their historical background and what was their geographical setting? Written from a secular viewpoint, the author reveals where a scholarly approach to the history of religions may diverge from the assumptions of faith, and shows the value of comparing different movements and different histories in one account. Throughout history, many individuals have believed that they were in direct contact with a divine source, receiving direction to spread a religious message. A few persuaded others and developed a following, and a small minority of such movements grew into full religions. In time, these movements developed, augmented, selected and invented their own narratives of foundation: stories about the founders’ lives and the early stages in which their religious group emerged. Modern critical scholarship helps us understand something of how a successful religion could emerge, thrive and begin the journey to become a world faith. This book presents a narrative to interest, challenge and intrigue readers interested in the beginnings of some of the most powerful ideas that have influenced human history.

Linear time and Jewish conversion in the N-Town plays
Daisy Black

Law increasingly depicted as aged, decrepit and confounded by the young theology heralded by the virgin birth. The importance of time in this characterisation of the holy couple has been briefly stressed in J. A. Burrow’s claim that ‘[Joseph’s] ill-matched marriage [. . .] is a portent marking a time when the order of nature is to be utterly transcended in the Virgin Birth’. 22 More recently, Emma Maggie Solberg has aligned Joseph’s old age with the plays’ representation of Judaism, claiming that N-Town ‘represents Mary as the young, beautiful, blossoming flower

in Play time
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Queer theory, literature and the politics of sameness

In its contributions to the study of material social differences, queer theoretical writing has mostly assumed that any ideas which embody 'difference' are valuable. More than this, where it is invoked in contemporary theory, queerness is often imagined as synonymous with difference itself. This book uncovers an alternative history in queer cultural representation. Through engagement with works from a range of queer literary genres from across the long twentieth century – fin-de-siècle aestheticism, feminist speculative fiction, lesbian middle-brow writing, and the tradition of the stud file – the book elucidates a number of formal and thematic attachments to ideas that have been denigrated in queer theory for their embodiment of sameness: uselessness, normativity, reproduction and reductionism. Exploring attachments to these ideas in queer culture is also the occasion for a broader theoretical intervention: Same Old suggests, counterintuitively, that the aversion they inspire may be of a piece with how homosexuality has been denigrated in the modern West as a misguided orientation towards sameness. Combining queer cultural and literary history, sensitive close readings and detailed genealogies of theoretical concepts, Same Old encourages a fundamental rethinking of some of the defining positions in queer thought.

Karl Polanyi (1886–1964) returned to public discourse in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded and globalization erupted. Best known for The Great Transformation, Polanyi’s wide-ranging thought anticipated twenty-first-century civilizational challenges of ecological collapse, social disintegration and international conflict, and warned that the unbridled domination of market capitalism would engender nationalist protective counter-movements. In Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt bring together prominent and new thinkers in the field to extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi's life and work. Kari Polanyi Levitt's opening essay situates Polanyi in the past century shaped by Keynes and Hayek, and explores how and why his ideas may shape the twenty-first century. Her analysis of his Bennington Lectures, which pre-dated and anticipated The Great Transformation, demonstrates how Central European his thought and chief concerns were. The next several contributions clarify, for the first time in Polanyi scholarship, the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Other contributions resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi's thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States' exceptional development, the reality of society and socialism as freedom in a complex society. The volume culminates in explorations of how Polanyi has influenced, and can be used to develop, ideas in a number of fields, whether income inequality, world-systems theory or comparative political economy. Contributors: Fred Block, Michael Brie, Radhika Desai, Michael Hudson, Hannes Lacher, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Chikako Nakayama, Jamie Peck, Abraham Rotstein, Margaret Somers, Claus Thomasberger, Oscar Ugarteche Galarza.

Alison I. Beach
Shannon M.T. Li
, and
Samuel S. Sutherland

church custom – and built a new one that was larger and higher. T.2 [5.2]. Abbot Conrad also built an exceedingly beautiful tomb from four stones, and above it a new altar, doorway, and stairway ascending to the altar and choir. T.3 [5.3]. In the year of the Virgin Birth 1134, 152 years after the founding of the monastery, in the twelfth indiction, Abbot Conrad summoned the venerable Bishop Ulrich II of Constance, and he opened the tomb of the blessed Bishop Gebhard and found the precious treasure of his body, more prized than any pearl. Indeed, this tomb had

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
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Jonathan Benthall

Mother of God, building on the sparing references to her in the New Testament, in Islam her story is an example of virtue, obedience and chastity, and the virgin birth of Jesus is explained by a straightforward recognition of divine omnipotence and will. The purity of Mary’s conception of Jesus does not become an ideal for ordinary Muslim women to aspire to, for their most

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
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Transporting Chaucer
Helen Barr

Mary. When the scene of Gabriel’s Annunciation is figured in stained glass windows, the Virgin Mary is seated with a book in her lap. There is a window behind her. A beam of light, often issuing forth from a dove, streams through the glass. In its passage through the glass without fracturing it the light represents the Holy Spirit penetrating Mary’s human body whilst leaving it intact. The word of God is made flesh within the body of a mortal woman without breaking Mary’s virgin seal. Thus is the unfathomable mystery of the Virgin Birth blazoned. Placed in front of a

in Transporting Chaucer