The Body in Late Medieval and Early Modern Culture  book cover
1st Edition

The Body in Late Medieval and Early Modern Culture

ISBN 9781138263352
Published November 9, 2016 by Routledge
264 Pages

SAVE ~ $11.99
was $59.95
USD $47.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Taking as its chronological starting-point the female body of late medieval devotional literature, the volume moves on to a consideration of the representation of gendered bodies in later literature. It then proceeds to examine sixteenth-century occupational orderings of the (male) body in education, the civil service and the army, and involves explorations into a variety of rituals for the purification, ordering and disciplining of the flesh. It includes enquiries into the miraculous royal body, demon bodies, the 'virtual' body of satire, and ends the late seventeenth century with dramatic representations of the diseased body, and the grotesque bodies of travellers’ tales as signifiers of racial difference. It pushes forward post-modern notions of the body as a site for competing discourses. It provides new dimensions to fantasies, rituals and regulations in narratives ('fictions') of the body as identifications of forms of knowledge unique to the early modern period. Each of the essays sheds new light on how these late medieval and early modern narratives function to produce specialized and discrete languages of the body that cannot be understood simply in terms, say, of religion, philosophy or physiology, but produce their own discrete forms of knowledge. Thus the essays materially contribute to an understanding of the relationship between the body and spatial knowledge by giving new bearings on epistemologies built upon pre-modern perceptions about bodily spaces and boundaries. They address these issues by analysing forms of knowledge constructed through regulations of the body, fantasies about extensions to the body and creations of bodily, psychic, intellectual and spiritual space. The essays pose important questions about how these epistemologies offer different investments of knowledge into structures of power. What constitutes these knowledges? What are the politics of corporeal spaces? In what forms of knowledge about spatial and bodily perceptions and p

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Nina Taunton and Darryll Grantley; Gendered Bodies: The politics of self-mutilation: forms of female devotion in the late Middle Ages, Claire Marshall; The constructions and deconstructions of gendered bodies in selected plays of Christopher Marlowe, Doris Feldmann; Armour, flows and bliss: liquefactions of gender in The Faerie Queene Book II, Barry Taylor; ’O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain’: violence and the mother’s body on the Elizabethan stage, Felicity Dunworth; Occupational Bodies: The body archival: re-reading the trial of the Earl of Somerset, Alan Stewart; A camp ’well planted’: encamped bodies in 1590s military discourses and Chapman’s Caesar and Pompey, Nina Taunton; ’A bodie of presence’: early modern education and the elite body in the writings of Richard Mulcaster, Darryll Grantley; Mystical Bodies: Regimen animarum et corporum: the body and spatial practice in medieval and Renaissance magic, Stephen Clucas; The bodies of demons, Gareth Roberts; The miraculous royal body in James VI and I, Jonson and Shakespeare, 1590-1609, Lawrence Normand; Bodily Otherness: ’Seeing’ contagious bodies in early modern London, Margaret Healy; ’All protean forms in venery’: the textual and apparitional body in John Marston’s verse satires, Cliff Forshaw; Travellers’ tails: bodily fictions in early modern narratives of cultural difference, Susan Wiseman; Index.

View More


'This distinguished contribution to the study of premodern corporeal materiality definitely pushes forward postmodern notions of the body as a site for competing discourses. It investigates the tension between semiotic and somatic meanings from various angles by providing hitherto unfamiliar theoretical perspectives and by tracing continuities as well as discontinuities between perceptions of the body in the medieval and early modern periods.' Archiv für das Studium der neueren Spachen und Literaturen '... the effort to expand the purview of body studies into fresh materials and topics proves successful ...' Early Modern LIterary Studies