Beyond Enclosure: The Lives of a Widow


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:
Beyond Enclosure: The Lives of a Widow

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This chapter looks at religious and literary patronage in the numerically small but significant number of Anglo–Norman widows who avoided remarriage. It considers the career of a prominent widow and patroness, Isabella, Countess of Arundel, and the overlap in her texts with those of female community on the one hand, and the court on the other. It explores the common concerns of women and churchmen with the discourse of male continence and asceticism, especially in the representation of contemporary ecclesiastical courier saints.

Keywords: virginity; virgins; religious patronage; literary patronage; widows; Isabella Countess of Arundel

Chapter.  21330 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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