Gender, Nation and Conquest in the Works of William of Malmesbury
William of Malmesbury is one of the most important English historians of the twelfth century -- not only a critical period in English history, but also one that has been recognised as significant in terms of the writing of history and the construction of a national past. This innovative study provides a gendered reading of Malmesbury's works with special reference to the themes of conquest and nation. It considers Malmesbury's presentation of men and women [both lay and religious] through categories based on attributes, such as sexual behaviour and violence, rather than the more familiar `professional' or familial roles, such as warrior and wife. It is also concerned with language and how the topics of conquest and nation are discussed in gendered terms. Importantly, attention is paid to Malmesbury's own position as a post-conquest chronicler, writing at a time of church reform, and to the impact the changes had upon the construction of the stories he narrates. KIRSTEN A. FENTON holds a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh.
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