Women's Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon

An International Network Funded by the Leverhulme Trust

A Woman of Letters: Dhuoda’s Liber Manualis

Liber Manualis: Paris, BnF, ms. 12293, XI, 2, 3-12 (Creative Commons Licence) The Liber Manualis was written in Uzes (in Septimania) by Dhuoda, wife of Duke Bernard, between 30th November 841 and 2nd February 843 (XI, 2, 2-5). The text is addressed to William, his firstborn son. The title liber manualis  is a classical expression: […]

She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted: Catherine of Siena’s politics

An image of St. Catherine of Siena from a 15th-century roodscreen at Holy Trinity Church, Torbryan, Devon (my photograph) The Middle Ages was not devoid of women in politics. Women ruled kingdoms, they waged war, they managed armies and households and fiefdoms in their husbands’ and fathers’ absences. But most of these women were “to the […]

Making the Word Mat(t)er: Julian of Norwich’ Poetics of the Mother Tongue

The martyrdom of St. Cecilia of Rome and St. Valerian. Detail from a late fifteenth-century Book of Hours. The Hague, KB, 76 F 2. fol. 277r . Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum & Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Den Haag. Bron: manuscripts.kb.nl  In the 1380s, a woman has just begun to tell her story, when she remembers another narrative, heard in her teens: “I […]

(W)ri(gh)ting the Canon

‘Great Beasts Isolated on Mountains’ (see citations in the text). Image: Crocodile from the Rochester Bestiary. Wikimedia Commons What did it mean to read and write as a medieval woman? This is of course one of the big questions that the Women’s Literary Culture network is investigating: scholarly work on the writings of Margery Kempe […]

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