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Anchorites, Wombs, and Tombs: Intersections of Gender and by Liz Herbert McAvoy, Mari Hughes-Edwards

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By Liz Herbert McAvoy, Mari Hughes-Edwards

Until lately, the determine of the medieval anchorite and the underlying ideological options that framed her daily lifestyles have escaped unique exam, regardless of the anchorite’s significance to the research of medieval tradition. This assortment brings jointly major students within the box of gender and anchoritic stories that allows you to study anchoritic enclosure from various diversified views. In so doing, Anchorites, Wombs, and Tombs deals illuminating conclusions approximately how the phenomenon of anchoritism used to be laid low with, and in flip, inspired modern notions of gender difference.

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Extra resources for Anchorites, Wombs, and Tombs: Intersections of Gender and Enclosure in the Middle Ages (University of Wales - Religion and Culture in the Middle Ages)

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But cell does not acquire the meaning ‘madhouse or prison cell’ until the eighteenth century. Nonetheless there is, I believe, a genuine medieval association between enclosure and prisons. The Latin nouns inclusus and inclusa, two of the commonest words for a recluse, derive from the verb includere, ‘to enclose’. 32 But the enclosure sought by the recluse does not have to be quite as literal as is suggested by such metaphors of confinement as prison, womb or tomb. True enclosure was surely a state of mind.

47. Aelred of Rievaulx’s de Institutione Inclusarum: Two English Versions, ed. s. 287 (Oxford, 1984), p. 18, lines 707–8 and 716. de Institutione, p. 663. Legatus Divinae Pietatis, 4, 3, in Revelationes Gertrudianae ac Mechtildianae, ed. Monks of Solesmes (Paris, 1875), 1, p. 300; the translation is my own. Norman P. Tanner, The Church in Late Medieval Norwich (Toronto, 1984), p. 131. de Institutione, p. 639; Macpherson, pp. 47–8. 38 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 ALEXANDRA BARRATT The Cloud of Unknowing, ed.

Speaking of Christ, the author asks: Ant nes he him-seolf reclus i Maries wombe? þeos twa þing limpeð to ancre: nearowðe ant bitternesse, for wombe is nearow wununge þer Ure Lauerd wes reclus . . ef e þenne i nearow stude þolieð bitternesse, e beoð his feolahes reclus as he wes i Marie wombe. Beo e ibunden inwið fowr large wahes? Ant he in a nearow cader, i-neilet o rode, i stanene þruh bi-cluset hete feste. Marie wombe ant þis þruh weren his ancre huses. (And was he not himself a recluse in Mary’s womb?

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