Impolitic Bodies: Poetry, Saints, and Society in Fifteenth-century England : the Work of Osbern Bokenham
With this witty and elegant new book, one of our leading medievalists breaks new ground in fifteenth-century scholarship, a critical site of cultural study. Delany examines the work of English Augustinian friar Osbern Bokenham, a figure never before written on at any length, and fully explores the relations between history and literature in a particularly turbulent period in English history, a period extending from the "War of the Roses" through the "Hundred Years War." Delany focuses on Bokenham's major work, Legends of Holy Women--the first collection of all female saint's lives in any language--composed between 1443 and 1447. Organizing the book around the image of the body--a medieval procedure becoming popular once again in current attention to the social construction of the body--she looks at a number of major concerns. One is Bokenham's relation to the body of English literature, particularly Chaucer. Another is the entire genre of saints's lives, particularly female saints's lives, with their striking uses of the body of the saint to generate their meaning. Yet another is the image of the body politic and its importance in the political and dynastic crises of fifteenth century England. Delany draws these diverse strands together to create an innovative and readable portrait of Bokenham's work and its larger cultural and political importance, offering a host of new insights into this unjustly neglected period in English literary history.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
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