Anchorites, Wombs, and Tombs: Intersections of Gender and by Liz Herbert McAvoy, Mari Hughes-Edwards

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By Liz Herbert McAvoy, Mari Hughes-Edwards

Until lately, the determine of the medieval anchorite and the underlying ideological strategies that framed her daily life have escaped specified exam, regardless of the anchorite’s significance to the research of medieval tradition. This assortment brings jointly major students within the box of gender and anchoritic reports with a view to study anchoritic enclosure from numerous diversified views. In so doing, Anchorites, Wombs, and Tombs deals illuminating conclusions approximately how the phenomenon of anchoritism was once plagued by, and in flip, prompted modern notions of gender difference.

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But we should note his anxieties about the permeability of the solitary’s cell: Cella vertitur in prostibulum, et dilatato qualibet arte foramine, aut illa egredietur, aut adulter ingreditur. )10 But the fifteenth-century Middle English translation of Aelred’s text, The Rule of a Recluse, influenced, one suspects, by Ancrene Wisse (and examined by Kristen McQuinn in this present volume, ch. 7) does introduce CONTEXT: REFLECTIONS ON WOMBS AND TOMBS 31 an implied association between the womb and ‘enclosure’.

100. 26 29 30 31 32 33 LIZ HERBERT McAVOY AND MARI HUGHES-EDWARDS Pierre Bourdieu, The Logic of Practice, trans. Richard Nice (Cambridge and Stanford, 1990), p. 69. , p. 69. On the theory of ‘interpellation’ see Louis Althusser, ‘Ideology and ideological state apparatuses’, as reproduced in Literary Theory: An Anthology, ed. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan (Oxford, 1998; various reprints), pp. 294–304. , pp. 302 and 303. Warren, Anchorites and their Patrons, p. 3. 2 Context: Some Reflections on Wombs and Tombs and Inclusive Language ALEXANDRA BARRATT n 2002 the Economist published an obituary of the British socialist Barbara Castle, who had died at the age of 91.

Closure for this narrative is provided by a triumphant picture of Guthlac’s soul being borne to heaven in the arms of angels (lines 781–2). In contrast, Guthlac B, shorter at 561 lines as it stands, although unfinished,5 focuses almost entirely on the saint’s final illness and death. In this second poem, the heroic figure has become death’s passive and exhausted prey, described as ‘adlwerigne’ (wearied by sickness) (line 1008); he is shot at and wounded by arrows of disease; the sudden illness enters him (‘him faeringa adl in gewod’) (lines 939–40).

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