Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 9555
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Niebrzydowski , Sue A.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Damned Dowagers: The Representation of the Queen Mothers in Chaucer's "Man of Law's Tale"
  • Source: Gender and Conflict in the Middle Ages. Gender and Medieval Studies Conference, York, January 5-7 2001.. 2001.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Canterbury Tales- Man of Law's Tale Donegild (Literary Figure) Dowager Queens in Literature Literature- Verse Sowdanesse (Literary Figure) Women in Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
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  • Abstract: This interdisciplinary study examines the construction of the Sowdanesse and Donegild of Northumberland in Chaucer's 'Man of Law's Tale'. Both are Dowager Queens, or, in the case of the Sowdanesse more precisely the Islamic equivalent of Valide Sultana. Their representation as autonomous, single women is examined and interrogated through those discourses that framed an understanding of the role and desired behaviours of Queens Dowager: courtesy books and contemporary politics. Their representation suggests that the position of Queen Dowager is a site of gendered conflict that raised anxieties in the body politic, further exacerbated in relation to the Sowdanesse whose body signals not simply the dangers inherent in female autonomy but also those of racial and religious alterity. [Reproduced by permission of the Gender and Medieval Studies Conference organizers].
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Warwick
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2001.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: Not Available
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