The publication of this volume of essays is a milestone in Old English studies. It is the first collection to examine this literature from a feminist perspective. Although the contributors represent a plurality of approaches and positions, they share a common objective: to reassess women as women, as they actually appear in the laws, in works written by women, and in canonical literature. The essays address, correct, and round out the nineteenth-century Anglo-Saxon critical tradition and begin fresh exploration of the women in Old English literature.
The subjects discussed fall into the following broad categories: the historical record; sexuality and folklore; language and difference in characterization and the "deconstructed" stereotype. Contributors include Marijane Osborn; Christine E. Fell; F.T. Wainwright; Pauline Stafford; Frank M. Stenton; Mary P. Richard s and B. Jane Stanfield; Carol J. Clover; Edith Whitehurst Williams; Paul E. Szarmach; Audrey L. Meaney; Helen Damico; Patricia A. Belanoff; L. John Sklute; Paul Beekman Taylor; Alexandra Hennessey Olsen; Joyce Hill; Jane Chance; Alain Renoir; Dolores Warwick Frese; and Anita R. Riedinger.
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