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The Female Voice in the Assembly of Ladies: Text and Context in Fifteenth-Century England

The Female Voice in the Assembly of Ladies: Text and Context in Fifteenth-Century England (Hardback)

£34.99
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Synopsis

The Assembly of Ladies is a fifteenth-century secular love poem in Middle English that adheres closely to conventional poetic structures, but throws these conventions into relief as it presents the narrative from a woman's point of view, a rare occurrence for poetry of this period. Who wrote it, for whom and why, are questions about which we can speculate, but never ultimately answer-the poem itself gives us few clues. Yet the poem has had a remarkable shelf-life; in subsequent centuries the poem has continued to be noticed, read, and debated, as a small but significant artefact from fifteenth-century England. This book examines how fifteenth-century English social conventions impact upon gender relations in The Assembly of Ladies. By drawing on contemporary (and clearly influential) texts from the fifteenth century as a comparison, Marshall shows how The Assembly of Ladies has integrated social conventions into its themes and structure, elevating for the reader the ways that social and literary conventions impact on women in the production and consumption of literature.

Simone Celine Marshall is a lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Her research focuses on late medieval literature and book culture.

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