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Palgrave Macmillan

Marking Maternity in Middle English Romance

Mothers, Identity, and Contamination

ISBN 9781137343482
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series The New Middle Ages

Working at the intersection of medical, theological, cultural, and literary studies, Marking Maternity offers an innovative approach to understanding maternity, genealogy, and social identity as they are represented in popular literature in late-medieval England. This book examines how Middle English romances have come to reflect the impact of dominant contemporary discourses of maternal influence and contamination upon individuals, communities, and families. Angela Florschuetz goes onto argue while these romances often reference and participate in contemporary discourses that identify the maternal with contamination, they also reframe the problem of maternal influence by focusing on the corrosive effects of these anxieties upon all levels of society.

Angela Florschuetz is Assistant Professor at Trinity University, San Antonio, USA. She received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2007 and has published articles on Middle English romance in the Chaucer Review and Studies in the Age of Chaucer.

Introduction: The Mother's Mark and the Maternal Monster
1. Women's Secrets and Men's Interests: Rituals of Childbirth and Northern Octavian
2. "That Moder Ever Hym Fed": Nursing and Other Anthropophagies in Sir Gowther
3. 'Youre Owene Thyng:' The Clerk's Tale and Fantasies of Autonomous Male Reproduction
4. 'A Mooder He Hath, But Fader Hath He Noon:' Maternal Transmission and Fatherless Sons: The Man of Law's Tale
5. Forgetting Eleanor: Richard Coer de Lyon and England's Maternal Aporia
6. Monstrous Maternity and the Mother-Mark: Melusine as Genealogical Phantom
Afterword: Abjection and the Mother at the End of this Book


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