Despite a modern tendency to describe medieval women as suppressed and marginalized, a critical reading of relevant texts by female poets/writers demonstrates that women all over Europe in the premodern era enjoyed considerable freedom to express themselves and to contribute to the literary discourse of their time. This book brings together representative poets from Germany, England, France, Spain, Hungary, and Austria and thus develops an innovative pan-European perspective spanning from the tenth to the sixteenth century. Well-known writers are as much included as some rather little studied individuals, who all form part of a strong choir of female voices. ; Presentation and critical reading of medieval women writers on a pan-European level. This book brings us up-to-date on research pertaining to women in the pre-modern era and highlights the strong impact, which women poets enjoyed after all. ; Contents: Medieval European women writers – Hrotsvit of Gandersheim – Marie de France – Christine de Pizan – Julian of Norwich – Elisabeth von Nassau-Saarbrücken – Eleonore of Austria – Helene Kottaner(in) – Leonor López de Córdoba – Marguerite de Navarre.
«Es ist [...] zu wünschen, dass dieses wichtige Buch eine große Verbreitung erfährt und seine Funktion nicht nur als neues Standardwerk zum Thema erfüllt, sondern auch darüber hinaus ein neues Literaturverständnis begründet.»
(Bea Lundt, Mediaevisitik 29/2016)
Albrecht Classen is University Distinguished Professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona, researching and teaching European literature from ca. 800 to ca. 1800. In his more than 80 scholarly books and more than 600 articles he has focused on the history of mentality, gender studies, xenology, comparative literature, ecocriticism, and cultural history. He is the editor of Mediaevistik. He edited the Handbook of Medieval Studies as well as the Handbook of Medieval Culture. Recently his The Forest in Medieval German Literature appeared in print.