Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 4178
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): McNamer , Sarah
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Female Authors, Provincial Setting: The Re-versing of Courtly Love in the Findern Manuscript [The article includes an appendix with transcriptions of Middle English poems believed to be written by women. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Viator 22, ( 1991): Pages 279 - 310.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Authorship Complaint in Literature Compilation Courtly Love Emotions in Literature Female Voice in Literature Gentry Women Lament, Literary Genre Letters Literature- Verse Love in Literature Manuscripts Scribes and Scriptoria Women Authors Women in Litera
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 15
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence: Manuscript; Cambridge, Cambridge University Library, MS Ff.1.6 (also known as the Findern Manuscript or Findern Anthology). Produced during the fifteenth century in a gentrified provincial region of Derbyshire, England, the manuscript contains a compilation of lyrics
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  • Abstract: While the practice of examining medieval literature in its original manuscript context is always Important, it is particularly so in the case of the anonymous love lyrics of Cambridge University Library MS Ff.l.6, the "Findern Manuscript." Most of these lyrics have been classified as "courtly love lyrics," and the title many of them bear in modern anthologies and in the Index of Middle English Verse, "To his Mistress," informs us that they were written by men. But through an examination of the paleographical evidence and comparison with women's letters of the period, this article asserts that many of the lyrics were almost certainly written by women. Moreover, while the poems make use of the courtly idiom, their true nature is not "courtly" at all. They do not belong to the "game of courtly love," with its playful insincerity; they are, rather, sincere expressions of the thoughts and emotions of fifteenth-century English women living in the provinces. As such, they are not only among the first self-expressive specimens of the lyric in English; they also belong to a genre which has been held to be absent in the corpus of Middle English literature- the authentic woman's lament. [Reproduced from the journal website: http://brepols.metapress.com/content/121213/?p=afdbc79947a4444b9739ff05942fde63&pi=0]
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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00835897
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