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Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love
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Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Until now the advent of Western romantic love has been seen as a liberation from—or antidote to—ten centuries of misogyny. In this major contribution to gender studies, R. Howard Bloch demonstrates how similar the ubiquitous antifeminism of medieval times and the romantic idealization of woman actually are.

Through analyses of a broad range of patristic and medieval texts,
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Paperback, 308 pages
Published January 15th 1992 by University Of Chicago Press (first published January 1st 1991)
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Siria
R. Howard Bloch's central point has something to it—that misogyny and courtly love/romance aren't opposites, or even two sides of the same coin, but that they are in a "dialectical rapport" which "assumes a logical necessity according to which woman is placed in the overdetermined and polarized position of being neither one nor the other but both at once, and thus trapped in an ideological entanglement whose ultimate effect is her abstraction from history." (164) Individual women are trapped beh ...more
Janin
Nov 08, 2012 Janin rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic, easy to read approach to medieval views of women-- how they came about, how they were advanced, and how they were responded to, both by clergy, women and men, across various social and economic groups. I was pleased with how clearly and concisely information was presented-- things weren't simply glossed over, there was 'meat' and research behind the claims to substantiate them. It's a portion of Medieval history you simply are not exposed to in your average literary class, e ...more
Rachel
Dec 30, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
Hm, I think that certain chapters in this book were extremely gripping - the one on virginity, for instance. There was also a very clear agenda set forth, and I appreciated that it was highlighted and then followed. However, quite a bit of the book resided in the early patristic writings of the Church, not something I hoped to gain from the book. However, in conclusion, the only true virgin is a dead one.
Amy
Jan 19, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
While I found this book very dense, it was extremely useful and interesting.
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