Last Words from a Medieval Mother to her Son

Christine de Pisan instructs her son, Jean de Castel - from British Library Harley 4431 f.261v

Yesterday, I stumbled across a passage from the Liber Manualis, written by a ninth-century Frankish woman named Dhuoda to her fifteen-year-old son.

Picturing Maternal Anxiety in the Miracle of the Jew of Bourges

2 scenes from the Miracle of the Jewish Boy from Bourges, Lincoln Cathedral (www.therosewindow.com)

During the middle ages, one of the most popular and most frequently illustrated Miracles of the Virgin Mary was the Miracle of the Jew of Bourges. According to the text of the miracle, the Virgin saves a young Jewish boy after his father throws him into a fiery oven upon learning he attended a Christian mass.

‘There is more to the story than this, of course’: Character and Affect in Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen

The White Queen

Philippa Gregory has critiqued gendered representations of Elizabeth Woodville and has stated that her 2009 novel The White Queen fictionalises Woodville’s history with the aim of challenging such depictions.

Kissing Cousins: Incest and Sex Change in Tristan de Nanteuil

Chansons de Geste

In this paper I re-examine Blanchandine‘s sex change in light of its relation to the issue of incest; as I will show, incest is directly related to the sex change and also punctuates the narrative at other points. Tristan de Nanteuil depicts two sexual and/or romantic relationships between cousins…

Royal and Magnate Bastards in the Later Middle Ages: The View from Scotland

Medieval Children

Theory and Practice in Scotland and Elsewhere Medieval Scotland’s law on bastardy is set out in the lawbook Regiam Majestatem (c.1320)…In England things were different, as Michael Hicks has demonstrated. Admittedly, English heraldic practice eventually followed the French, and the formula ‘X bastard of Y’ is occasionally found for magnates’ bastards.

Blended and Extended Families in Carolingian Charters

medieval Carolingian charter - Charter of Clothilde

This is a summary of a paper on Carolingian charters and the relationship between step and blended families.

Making a difference in tenth-century politics: King Athelstan’s sisters and Frankish queenship

Eadgifu of England/Wessex

In the early years of the tenth century several Anglo-Saxon royal women, all daughters of King Edward the Elder of Wessex (899-924) and sisters (or half-sisters) of his son King Athelstan (924-39), were despatched across the Channel as brides for Frankish and Saxon rulers and aristocrats. This article addresses the fate of some of these women through an analysis of their political identities.

‘Forgive me for all I have done and all I must do’: Portrayals of Negative Motherhood in George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords

Cersei_and_Joffrey

I will argue that Martin both transgresses traditional high fantasy narratives but also employs other stereotypes found in general literature regarding motherhood and female power, often negative in tone.

An Examination of the Family in ‘The Tale of Sir Gareth’

The Tale of Sir Gareth

This thesis investigates the theme of family interactions within Malory‘s ―Tale of Sir Gareth,‖ examining the tale itself as well as looking at several analogous Fair Unknown stories in order to determine if the theme is Malory‘s own or if it could have come from a probable source.

Inquiring into Adultery and Other Wicked Deeds: Episcopal Justice in Tenth- and Early Eleventh-Century Italy

Sex medieval

This article suggests that Italian bishops often had recourse to spiritual penalties to exercise their coercive authority over serious offences during the tenth and early eleventh centuries.

Going Mad in French: Royal Notaries and Charles V’s Translation Project

Woman hammering baby

This was another interesting paper from the Mental Health in Non-medical Terms session at KZOO on notaries, and how crimes committed under “mental duress” were processed.

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