Honorary Virginities


in Saints' Lives and Women's Literary Culture, 1150-1300

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780198112792
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191707599 | DOI:
Honorary Virginities

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This chapter examines the relations between virginity and maternity, especially as mediated by penance and asceticism. It explores continuities between religious and secular lives to argue that some female writings and receptions of cultural maternity represent it as productive again for women. It also argues that the very intensity with which penance is required of non-virgin women makes its powers also useful to women.

Keywords: virginity; virgins; maternity; asceticism; penance

Chapter.  15763 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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