Impolitic Bodies: Poetry, Saints, and Society in Fifteenth-Century England: The Work of Osbern Bokenham
Oxford University Press, 5 févr. 1998 - 256 pages
This pioneering book explores the work of English Augustinian friar Osbern Bokenham, an ardent Yorkist on the eve of the "Wars of the Roses" and a gifted poet. Sheila Delany focuses on a manuscript written in 1447, the "Legend of Holy Women." Narrating the lives and ordeals of thirteen heroic and powerful saints, this was the first all-female legendary in English, much of it commissioned by wealthy women patrons in the vicinity of Clare Priory, Suffolk, where Bokenham lived. Delany structures her book around the image of the human body. First is the corpus of textual traditions within which Bokenham wrote: above all, the work of his two competing masters, St. Augustine and Geoffrey Chaucer. Next comes the female body and its parts as represented in hagiography, with Bokenham's distinctive treatment of the body and the corporeal semiotic of his own legendary. Finally, the image of the body politic allows Delany to examine the relation of Bokenham's work to contemporary political life. She analyzes both the legendary and the friar's translation of a panegyric by the late-classical poet Claudian. The poetry is richly historized by Delany's reading of it in the context of succession crises, war, and the connection of women to political power during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
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Agatha Anglia Anne Augustine Augustinian Austin friar body Boken Bokenham's legendary breasts Capgrave Cecelia century chap chapter Chaucer Chaucer's Legend Christian Christine's church claim Clare Priory classical Claudian composed courtly daughter death Denston doctrine duke of York East Anglian ecclesiastical Edward Elizabeth England faith female fifteenth fifteenth-century Fortescue France French genealogy genre Geoffrey Geoffrey Chaucer Giles of Rome Guyenne hagiography Hardyng heir Henry holy Isabel Jesus Joachim John John Lydgate Katherine Katherine's kenham king Lady Lancastrian Latin literary lives Long Melford lord Lydgate Magdalene male manuscript Margaret marriage martyr Mary medieval Middle English mother nonetheless Osbern Bokenham Parliament patron persecutor poem poet political prolocutory prologue reader religious rhetoric Richard Rome saints Salic law says scholars social South English Legendary spiritual stanza Stilicho story Suffolk Thomas Thomas Chaucer tion tradition translation virgin Voragine woman women word writes wych wyth Yorkist
Page 3 - become conscious of this conflict and fight it out. Just as our opinion of an individual is not based on what he thinks of himself, so can we not judge of such a period of transformation by its own consciousness; on the contrary this consciousness must be explained rather from the contradictions of material life.