Sheila Delany

in Impolitic Bodies

Published in print November 1998 | ISBN: 9780195109887
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855216 | DOI:

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The book introduces the 15th-century Augustinian friar, Osbern Bokenham and his collection of literary works. His little-known but substantial achievements and contributions to literature, philosophy, and history in his time are enumerated and discussed. A brief background of his origins, early life, and introduction to the religious order is provided, along with the influential people of his time who had inspired his work. The remainder of the book focuses on his legendary and concerns regarding the lives of thirteen women saints which the book attempts to examine in the context of three types of “body”—the body of literary works Bokenham used and critiqued, the female body represented in his own work, and the “body politic” of English society in the eve of the War of the Roses. In the final chapter, the book discusses historicist and feminist theory in relation to an assertion regarding the sexual politics in Bokenham's legendary.

Keywords: Osbern Bokenham; Augustinian; friar; fifteenth century; legendary; body politic; women saints; War of the Roses; English society

Chapter.  12362 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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