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Impolitic Bodies : Poetry, Saints, and Society in Fifteenth-Century England: The Work of Osbern Bokenham - Sheila Delany

Impolitic Bodies

Poetry, Saints, and Society in Fifteenth-Century England: The Work of Osbern Bokenham

Paperback

Published: 1st January 1998
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In Impolitic Bodies Delany breaks important ground in fiteenth-century scholarship, a critical site of cultural study. Delany examines the work of English Augustinian friar Osbern Bokenham, never before written on at length, and fully explores the relations of history and literature in the particularly turbulent period in English history, beginning with "The Wars of the Roses" and during the "Hundred Years War." Delany examines the first collection of all female saints' lives in any language: Legends of Holy Women composed by Bokenham between 1443 and 1447. The book is organized around the image of the body - a medieval procedure becoming popular once again in current attention to the social construction of the body. One emphasis is Bokenham's relation to the body of English literature, particularly Chaucer, the symbolic head of the fifteenth century. Another emphasis is a focus on the genre of saints' lives, particularly female saints' lives, with their striking use of the body of the saint to generate meaning. Finally, the image of the body politic, the controlling image of medieval political thought is here, and Bokenham's means to examine the political and dynastic crises of fifteenth-century England. Delany uses these three major concerns to explain the literary innovation of Bokenham's Legend, and the larger and political importance of that innovation.

"Original and provocative....An engaging and lively study that should appeal to all faculty and students...of medieval literature and culture."--Choice "Impolitic Bodies, with its exquisite literary and historical contextualization, powerful analysis, and magisterial scope, ranks as one of the best books ever published on a fifteenth-century author."--John M. Ganim, University of California, Riverside "...Delany does a masterful job of drawing together a wealth of current criticism's most hotly discussed."--C. Marie Harker, Truman State University "Absorbing, subtle, complex reading. Among the leading ranks of medieval feminist scholarship, [Impolitic Bodies] may help restore the 15th Century to its rightful place in English literary history."--John McLaughlin, E. Stroudsburg University "Sheila Delany's book is as complex and ambitious as its title and subtitle suggest....it is a valuable work that adds to more than just the increasing interest in fifteenth-century studies."--Arthuriana "Original and provocative....An engaging and lively study that should appeal to all faculty and students...of medieval literature and culture."--Choice "Impolitic Bodies, with its exquisite literary and historical contextualization, powerful analysis, and magisterial scope, ranks as one of the best books ever published on a fifteenth-century author."--John M. Ganim, University of California, Riverside "...Delany does a masterful job of drawing together a wealth of current criticism's most hotly discussed."--C. Marie Harker, Truman State University "Absorbing, subtle, complex reading. Among the leading ranks of medieval feminist scholarship, [Impolitic Bodies] may help restore the 15th Century to its rightful place in English literary history."--John McLaughlin, E. Stroudsburg University "Sheila Delany's book is as complex and ambitious as its title and subtitle suggest....it is a valuable work that adds to more than just the increasing interest in fifteenth-century studies."--Arthuriana "Delany's book considers [Bokenham] in a complex and suggestive fashion, and will likely serve as the foundation for more work on this contradictory and fascinating writer." --Studies in the Age of Chaucer

ISBN: 9780195109894
ISBN-10: 0195109899
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st January 1998
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.29 x 15.55  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 0.36