Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture: The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England Series Number 42 (Hardback)
  • Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture: The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England Series Number 42 (Hardback)
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Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture: The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England Series Number 42 (Hardback)

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£93.00
Hardback 510 Pages / Published: 06/06/2002
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The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England is the eagerly-awaited study by the feminist scholar who was among the first to address the issue of early modern female homoeroticism. Valerie Traub analyzes the representation of female-female love, desire and eroticism in a range of early modern discourses, including poetry, drama, visual arts, pornography and medicine. Contrary to the silence and invisibility typically ascribed to lesbianism in the Renaissance, Traub argues that the early modern period witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of representations of such desire. By means of sophisticated interpretations of a comprehensive set of texts, the book not only charts a crucial shift in representations of female homoeroticism over the course of the seventeenth century, but also offers a provocative genealogy of contemporary lesbianism. A contribution to the history of sexuality and to feminist and queer theory, the book addresses current theoretical preoccupations through the lens of historical inquiry.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521444279
Number of pages: 510
Weight: 1008 g
Dimensions: 256 x 180 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Breathtaking in its knowledge and dazzling in its analysis, The Renaissance of Lesbianism shows us how female same-sex desires become not only legible but pivotal during the course of the English Renaissance. Traub's brilliant readings of sexual representation, both in early modern texts and in the scholarly imagination today, turn the screw of interpretation on figures from Queen Elizabeth to Katherine Philips and on topics from terminology to teleology. This synthesis of 'theory' and 'history' sets a new standard for lesbian scholarship and opens new paths for studying both sexuality and early modernity.' Susan Lanser, Brandeis University
'The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England is a dazzling achievment. Analyzing an extraordinary range of texts and visual artifacts, Traub changes the very terms through which it is possible to read forms of female intimacy in Early Modern England. Her work on the tribade, on female friendship, and on the psychomorphology of the clitoris is pathbreaking. Theoretically deft and immensely learned, The Renaissance of Lesbianism is without question one of the most important books of the decade in Early Modern studies.' Jean Howard
'One of the most significant books to be published in 2001 ... A tour de force of theoretically informed inquiry, this is cultural history at its most powerful and elegant - completely rewriting the history of sexuality in the 17th century.' Recent Studies in the English Renaissance
'...[F]rank and enabling engagement with large methodological debates about sexuality...'. The Times Literary Supplement
"Traub's compellingly argued study contributes significantly to early modern scholarship not only on sexuality, but also on gender, anatomical science, marriage and the family, poetic and dramatic texts, classical mythology, women writers and royal icongraphy ... [S]he has undeniably given us a wealth of knowledge about its history and a model of scholarship for interpreting its significance that cannot be ignored." Seventeenth-Century News
"More than an 'attempt,' this achievement will be foundational for the next generation of lesbian/queer/gay scholarship, ranging well beyond early modernism. The book's richness cannot be abstracted in a short review.... Her revelation and delightful readings of numerous textual sites is a second pleasure, and her sweeping historical lens, with keen attention to discursive and epistemological shifts, fault lines, and crises, is a third. Essential." Choice
"...engagingly written...Traub's erudite and complex book is a major contribution not only to early modern criticism but also to the history of sexuality in the early modern West." Journal of the History of Sexuality
"One of the most significant books to be published in 2001 is Valerie Traub's. [Her] book not only brilliantly locates a lost history of female-female eroticism, it also narrates a history that almost entirely changes our sense of the development of heterosexuality during the seventeenth entury." Studies in English Literature
"One of the most significant books to be published in 2001...A tour de force of theoretically informed inquiry, this is cultural history at its most powerful and elegant - completely rewriting the history of sexuality in the seventeenth century." Recent Sudies in the English Renaissance (UK)
"Professor Traub's scholarship is prodigious, her critical acumen impressive. We will be recalling with pleasure for years to come the stories she has brought to our attention; for her capacious study provides a rich and welcome store of material for future argument and debate." Renaissance Quarterly
"The history of all sexual deviance is, by the nature of the subject, difficult to trace, but Ms. Traub does a dazzling job and the text has fine pictorial as well as literary illustrations. How did lesbians then 'do it'--and how do they 'do it' now? She tells what she knows. This book presents both a kind of genesis (though Sappho much predated the Early Modern and surely she was not the first) and a sort of genealogy of certain sexual activities.... The author comments on the 'eerie familiarity' of certain past practices.... This serious contribution to sexual history is written in the style of modern feminists but is readable and worth reading by all." Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance
"...an impressively thorough study...An intervention in several different discursive strands, The Renaissance of Lesbianism will appeal to scholars in English and continental cultural, literary, historical, and art historical studies. This is a book that uses what has come before as a starting point rather than a guidebook, and that successfully avoids being constrained by dominant critical ideologies. Traub's work is packed and eloquent, and each chapter provides a delightful surprise for the reader in search of innovative close readings." Sixteenth Century Journal
"[Traub's] book is extremely learned as well as dignified and persuasive...This book ought to improve your vision." Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance
"This theoretically imaginative and informed monograph is a must-read for anyone interested in early modern gender or social history. Scholars of drama will benefit from the analyses of theatrical texts that constitute a third of Traub's material but may find themselves most enlightened by her rejuvenation of the common currency of feminist studies--concepts such as friendship, chastity, and transvestism." Essays in Theatre Lisa Celovsky, Suffolk University

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