Performing Virginity and Testing Chastity in the Middle Ages

Performing Virginity and Testing Chastity in the Middle Ages

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Description

This book challenges the belief that female virginity can be reliably and unambiguously defined, tested and verified. Kelly analyses a variety of medieval Western European texts - including medical treatises and their Classical antecedents - and historical and legal documents. The main focus is the representation of both male and female virgins in saints' legends and romances. The author also makes a comparative study of examples from contemporary fiction, television and film in which testing virginity is a theme. Performing Virginity and Testing Chastity in the Middle Ages presents a compelling and provocative study of the parodox of bodily and spiritual integrity as both presence and absence.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 152.4 x 236.22 x 15.24mm | 272.15g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0415758246
  • 9780415758246

Table of contents

Introduction. Castitas/Virginitas 1. Hymenologies: the multiple signs of virginity 2. 'Armour of Proof': the virgin and the Church in hagiography 3. 'Love's Traces': the lady and test in romance 4. Oxymoronic bodies: male virgins in hagiography and romance 5. Multiple virgins and contemporary virginities

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