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Performing Virginity and Chastity in the Middle Ages (Kathleen Coyne Kelly) Hardcover Book, (Routledge, 2000) 9780415221818


Title: Performing Virginity and Chastity in the Middle Ages

Author: Kelly, Kathleen Coyne

Publisher: Routledge/Taylor & Francis; Publication Date: 2000

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780415221818

Volumes: 1; Pages: 208

List Price in Hardcover: $170.00 Our price: $195.99

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Performing Virginity and Chastity in the Middle Ages presents a compelling and provocative study of virginity, which challenges the belief that female virginity can be reliably and unambiguously defined, tested and verified.

The book opens with a survey of classical and medieval medical treatises that offer advice on verifying female virginity-and sometimes suggest ways to fake it. Proofs of virginity as they occur throughout Christian hagiography (particularly when the virgin is threatened with rape) are discussed, as well as the chastity test or "ordeal" as it is represented in vernacular romance. The representation of the male virgin in hagiography and romance is also analyzed. Finally, the author explores examples from contemporary fiction, television and film in which testing virginity is a theme.

"... Kelly's study should interest students, teachers, and scholars concerned with intersections of medieval and popular culture studies."--Choice

Table of Contents

Introduction. Castitas/Virginitas

1. Hymenologies: The multiple signs of virginity

2. 'Armour of Proof': The virgin and the Church in hagiography

3. 'Love's Traces': The lady and test in romance

4. Oxymoronic bodies: Male virgins in hagiography and romance

5. Multiple virgins and contemporary virginities
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