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Arthurian and Courtly Cultures

Women of Words in Le Morte Darthur

The Autonomy of Speech in Malory’s Female Characters

Authors: Wyatt, Siobhán

  • Provides a comprehensive examination of Malory’s female characters, inspiring future studies on the topic
  • Discusses a widely neglected topic within Arthurian Studies: the voice of the female character
  • Offers a wealth of information, sources, and archival material to contextualize Malory’s perspective on women.
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Buy this book

eBook £52.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-34204-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £66.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-34203-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Offering a new reading of Malory’s famed text, Le Morte Darthur, this book provides the first full-length survey of the alterations Malory made to female characters in his source texts. Through detailed comparisons with both Old French and Middle English material, Siobhán M. Wyatt discusses how Malory radically altered his French and English source texts to create a gendered pattern in the reliability of speech, depicting female discourse as valuable and truthful. Malory’s authorial crafting indicates his preference for a certain “type” of female character: self-governing, opinionated, and strong. Simultaneously, the portrayal of this very readable “type” yields characterization. While late medieval court records indicate an increasingly negative attitude towards female speech and a tendency to punish vociferous women as “scolds,” Malory makes the words of chiding damsels constructive. While his contemporary writers suppress the powers of magical women, Malory empowers his enchantress characters; while the authors of his French source texts accentuate Guinevere’s flaws, Malory portrays her with sympathy.

About the authors

Siobhán M. Wyatt received her PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Cambridge, UK. She recently published an article in Arthuriana.

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Wyatt, Siobhán M.

    Pages 1-13

  • The Ill-Speaking Woman and the Marriageable Lady

    Wyatt, Siobhán M.

    Pages 15-58

  • Magical and Miraculous Women

    Wyatt, Siobhán M.

    Pages 59-106

  • ‘Whyle She Might Be Suffirde’: Ladies In (Unrequited) Love

    Wyatt, Siobhán M.

    Pages 107-138

  • True Lovers and Adulterous Queens

    Wyatt, Siobhán M.

    Pages 139-181

Buy this book

eBook £52.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-34204-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £66.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-34203-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Women of Words in Le Morte Darthur
Book Subtitle
The Autonomy of Speech in Malory’s Female Characters
Authors
Series Title
Arthurian and Courtly Cultures
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-34204-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-34204-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-34203-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 203
Topics