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The Gift of Tongues: Women's Xenoglossia in the Later Middle Ages (Paperback)
  • The Gift of Tongues: Women's Xenoglossia in the Later Middle Ages (Paperback)
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The Gift of Tongues: Women's Xenoglossia in the Later Middle Ages (Paperback)

(author)
£39.95
Paperback 232 Pages / Published: 30/04/2011
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Tales of xenoglossia-the instantaneous ability to read, to write, to speak, or to understand a foreign language-have long captivated audiences. Perhaps most popular in Christian religious literature, these stories celebrate the erasing of all linguistic differences and the creation of wider spiritual communities. The accounts of miraculous language acquisition that appeared in the Bible inspired similar accounts in the Middle Ages. Though medieval xenoglossic miracles have their origins in those biblical stories, the medieval narratives have more complex implications. In The Gift of Tongues, Christine Cooper-Rompato examines a wide range of sources to show that claims of miraculous language are much more important to medieval religious culture than previously recognized and are crucial to understanding late medieval English writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Margery Kempe.

Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
ISBN: 9780271036151
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Christine Cooper-Rompato's fascinating book demonstrates the importance of `xenoglossia' (miraculous language acquisition) for late medieval readers and writers. The Gift of Tongues raises important issues about gender, language, and religious culture. Offering both an overview of the subject and a focused study of its significance for authors such as Margery Kempe and Chaucer, this book makes valuable contributions to our understanding of late medieval religion and literary history."

-Rebecca Krug, University of Minnesota


"Cooper-Rompato demonstrates the importance of xenoglossia in the saint's life and makes a solid case for its relevance to hybrid genres; readers interested in the formation of Kempe's and Chaucer's authorial subjectivities would find much of interest in the respective chapters."

-Kevin R. West, Christianity and Literature


"The book is adapted from the author's dissertation and stands as an extremely fine model of how apprentice material can yield a monograph of pedagogical substance. Particularly impressive is the pan-European breadth of scholarship in the literary review section. Some of the anecdotes add verve and humor."

-Robin Gilbank,

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