Double Agents: Women and Clerical Culture in Anglo-Saxon England (Hardback)
  • Double Agents: Women and Clerical Culture in Anglo-Saxon England (Hardback)
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Double Agents: Women and Clerical Culture in Anglo-Saxon England (Hardback)

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£75.00
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 01/02/2009
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First printed in 2001 by the University of Pennsylvania Press, this book has been out of print for several years and is highly sought after by researchers in the field of Medieval cultural studies. "Double Agents" was the first book length study of women in Anglo-Saxon written culture that took on board the insights of contemporary critical theory, especially feminist theory, in order to elucidate the complex challenges of both the absence and presence of women in the historical record. That is to say, unlike the two earlier books on women in this period (by Fell, 1984, and by Chance, 1986), this is not a book about only those women in the written record (whether we think of it as historical or literary) of Anglo-Saxon England, it also tackles the question of how the feminine is modelled, used, and metaphorised in Anglo-Saxon texts, even when women themselves are absent.This book spans the entire Anglo-Saxon period from Aldhelm and Bede in the earliest centuries to Alfric and the anonymous homilists and hagiographers of the later tenth and eleventh centuries; it draws on Anglo-Saxon vernacular texts as well as Latin ones, and on those works most familiar to literary scholars (such as the "Exeter Book Riddles" or "Cadmon's Hymn", the first so-called poem in English, or the female "Lives of Saints") as well as historians (wills, charters, the cult of relics); it deliberately reconsiders, from the perspective of gender and women's agency, some of the key conceptual issues that studying Anglo-Saxon England presents (the relation of orality to literacy; that of poetry and sanctity to belief; and, the cultural significance of names, naming, and metaphors in Anglo-Saxon writing).

Publisher: University of Wales Press
ISBN: 9780708321836
Number of pages: 256
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Whether they are interrogating the scholarly narrative of Caedmon as the 'father of English poetry, ' investigating the historical record for feminine literacy or considering the female saint's body, both real and metaphorical, Lees and Overing apply crucial pressure to some of the most common assumptions about Anglo-Saxon culture."

--Karma Lochrie, Indiana University
""Double Agents" is an innovative and provocative study, adventurous in its choice of texts and stimulating in its lively and detailed engagement with them. The authors' exploration of the complex relation of the feminine, orality and literacy will undoubtedly influence the direction of future critical enquiry."

--Stephanie Hollis, University of Auckland
Whether they are interrogating the scholarly narrative of Caedmon as the father of English poetry, investigating the historical record for feminine literacy or considering the female saint s body, both real and metaphorical, Lees and Overing apply crucial pressure to some of the most common assumptions about Anglo-Saxon culture.
--Karma Lochrie, Indiana University"
"Double Agents" is an innovative and provocative study, adventurous in its choice of texts and stimulating in its lively and detailed engagement with them. The authors exploration of the complex relation of the feminine, orality and literacy will undoubtedly influence the direction of future critical enquiry.
--Stephanie Hollis, University of Auckland"

"Whether they are interrogating the scholarly narrative of Caedmon as the 'father of English poetry, ' investigating the historical record for feminine literacy or considering the female saint's body, both real and metaphorical, Lees and Overing apply crucial pressure to some of the most common assumptions about Anglo-Saxon culture."

--Karma Lochrie, Indiana University

"Double Agents is an innovative and provocative study, adventurous in its choice of texts and stimulating in its lively and detailed engagement with them. The authors' exploration of the complex relation of the feminine, orality and literacy will undoubtedly influence the direction of future critical enquiry."

--Stephanie Hollis, University of Auckland

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