Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 9666
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Kemp , Theresa D.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: The "Knight of the Tower" and the Queen in Sanctuary: Elizabeth Woodville's Use of Meaningful Silence and Absence
  • Source: New Medieval Literatures 4, ( 2001): Pages 189 - 212.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Book of the Knight of the Tower, Middle English Translation of the Chevalier de la Tour Landry's Livre Caxton, William, Printer and Author- Book of the Knight of the Tower Elizabeth, Queen- Consort of Edward IV, King of England Patronage, Literary Politic
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 15
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  • Abstract: Upon the death of Edward IV in April 1483, a political struggle for dynastic power ensued between the newly widowed Elizabeth Woodville and her brother-in-law, Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III). Drawing upon prevailing ideology requiring female obedience to male authority and prohibiting female speech, and using speeches, sermons, public letters, and government documents, the Ricardians charged Elizabeth with sedition. Rather than mount a direct counter-attack, however, Elizabeth creatively manipulated the gendered restrictions imposed upon her by engaging in meaningful acts of absence and silence - her flight into Westminster Sanctuary and her commission of "The Book of the Knight of the Tower," which William Caxton translated and published apparently at her request. This essay examines the discursive strategies Elizabeth Woodville used to defend her reputation and her life during the period between her flight into Westminster and Richard's death at Bosworth. [Abstract submitted by the author to Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index.]
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2001.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 14653737
  • Material/Technique :
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