Open Access (free)
Theory and Spenserian practice
Rachel E. Hile

1 Indirect satire: theory and Spenserian practice In Edmund Spenser’s Prosopopoia; or, Mother Hubberds Tale, a tonal shift characterizes the final episode, in which the villainous Fox and Ape, having wreaked havoc in the three estates as husbandmen, clerics, and courtiers, go even farther by usurping royal power. The self-conscious Chaucerianism of the first episodes—summarized by Kent van den Berg as “the recreative fiction that animals are like men”—gives way to a more fully developed, and more clearly satirical, fictional world in which “men are like animals

in Spenserian satire
Open Access (free)
Gender, sexuality and transgression
Author: Jenny DiPlacidi

This book demonstrates that incest was representative of a range of interests crucial to writers of the Gothic, often women or homosexual men who adopted a critical stance in relation to the heteronormative patriarchal world. In repositioning the Gothic, representations of incest are revealed as synonymous with the Gothic as a whole. The book argues that extending the traditional endpoint of the Gothic makes it possible to understand the full range of familial, legal, marital, sexual and class implications associated with the genre's deployment of incest. Gothic authors deploy the generic convention of incest to reveal as inadequate heteronormative ideologies of sexuality and desire in the patriarchal social structure that render its laws and requirements arbitrary. The book examines the various familial ties and incestuous relationships in the Gothic to show how they depict and disrupt contemporary definitions of gender, family and desire. Many of the methodologies adopted in Gothic scholarship and analyses of incest reveal ongoing continuities between their assumptions and those of the very ideologies Gothic authors strove to disrupt through their use of the incest trope. Methodologies such as Freudian psychoanalysis, as Botting argues, can be positioned as a product of Gothic monster-making, showing the effect of Gothic conventions on psychoanalytic theories that are still in wide use today.

Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

countesses. It will be considered whether they were unusual in the range of roles and functions that they fulfilled. These formal public roles can be explored through an examination of their activity as witnesses, signers, consentors, alienors and co-alienors, which can be related to the gendered functions of wife, mother, heiress or conversely widow or mother of the heir. Each category could define the role of each countess, or more than one could affect her position within the family. The close examination of charters also raises some fundamental problems of the nature

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Writing home in recent Irish memoirs and autobiographies (John McGahern’s Memoir, Hugo Hamilton’s The Speckled People, Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark and John Walsh’s The Falling Angels)
Stephen Regan

landscape possesses a primal power for McGahern: ‘My relationship with these lanes and fields extended back to the very beginning of my life’.1 It is also as near as he gets to imagining heaven, as he recalls his mother naming the flowers for him as they walk to school. There is a touching candour in McGahern’s insistence on his own abundant happiness on these occasions, almost as if he challenges his memory to prove otherwise: ‘I must have been extraordinarily happy walking that lane to school’ (p. 4). With that one simple sentence we get an immediate sense of the

in Irish literature since 1990
Author: James Paz

Anglo-Saxon ‘things’ could talk. Nonhuman voices leap out from the Exeter Book Riddles, telling us how they were made or how they behave. In The Husband’s Message, runic letters are borne and a first-person speech is delivered by some kind of wooden artefact. Readers of The Dream of the Rood will come across a tree possessing the voice of a dreaming human in order to talk about its own history as a gallows and a rood. The Franks Casket is a box of bone that alludes to its former fate as a whale that swam aground onto the shingle, and the Ruthwell monument is a stone column that speaks as if it were living wood, or a wounded body.

This book uncovers the voice and agency that these nonhuman things have across Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture. It makes a new contribution to ‘thing theory’ and rethinks conventional divisions between animate human subjects and inanimate nonhuman objects in the early Middle Ages. Anglo-Saxon writers and craftsmen describe artefacts and animals through riddling forms or enigmatic language, balancing an attempt to speak and listen to things with an understanding that these nonhumans often elude, defy and withdraw from us. The active role that things have in the early medieval world is also linked to the Germanic origins of the word, where a þing is a kind of assembly, with the ability to draw together other elements, creating assemblages in which human and nonhuman forces combine. Anglo-Saxon things teach us to rethink the concept of voice as a quality that is not simply imposed upon nonhumans but which inheres in their ways of existing and being in the world; they teach us to rethink the concept of agency as arising from within groupings of diverse elements, rather than always emerging from human actors alone.

Open Access (free)
Author: Janet Wolff

This book can be described as an 'oblique memoir'. The central underlying and repeated themes of the book are exile and displacement; lives (and deaths) during the Third Reich; mother-daughter and sibling relationships; the generational transmission of trauma and experience; transatlantic reflections; and the struggle for creative expression. Stories mobilised, and people encountered, in the course of the narrative include: the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War; cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s; the social and personal meanings of colour(s). It also includes the industrialist and philanthropist, Henry Simon of Manchester, including his relationship with the Norwegian explorer, Fridtjof Nansen; the liberal British campaigner and MP of the 1940s, Eleanor Rathbone; reflections on the lives and images of spinsters. The text is supplemented and interrupted throughout by images (photographs, paintings, facsimile documents), some of which serve to illustrate the story, others engaging indirectly with the written word. The book also explains how forced exile persists through generations through a family history. It showcases the differences between English and American cultures. The book focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations.

Open Access (free)
Different voices, voicing difference
Gilli Bush-Bailey

public writing and professional correspondence. Her autobiography, written while her now-married son was in India on active service, continually returns to the depiction of herself as the successful artist but reluctant working mother, torn between economic need and her much-loved boy, Michael, from whom she ‘hated being away’ (Constanduros, 1946: 53). It considers her attitude to professionalism, particularly within the emerging industry of radio entertainment, and its alliance with and appropriation for the project of middle-class respectability. Juxtaposing the

in Stage women, 1900–50
Open Access (free)
Gareth Millward

medical authorities. This chapter discusses how “apathy” acted as an explanatory model and call to action for health authorities seeking to improve uptake of immunisation services among the population. It played a key role in constructing the public in the minds of policy makers, built out of long-standing paternalistic attitudes towards the working classes, particularly mothers. The Ministry considered apathy a problem because it threatened the successes achieved by public health policy up to this point. Immunisation had reduced the burden of

in Vaccinating Britain
Jane Brooks

nurses were needed close to the fighting. Despite the fact that some of the orderlies were themselves registered nurses, the decision was taken to post female nurses to front-­line duty.7 Although as Crew wrote, ‘male and female nurses can be completely equal in response to professional knowledge and skill’, he continued that the chief and most important difference was their gender. The ill or injured combatant ‘is a child-­like creature, often dependent and insecure, who sees in the female nurse a mother-­figure, tender and compassionate’.8 Nevertheless, nurses

in Negotiating nursing
Gender and contemporary fantasies of witchcraft
Alison Rowlands

light of ideas about how witches were conceptualised which are gaining increasing currency within the historiography of early modern witchcraft. These ideas suggest that women were more likely to be accused of and confess to being witches because witches were predominantly imagined by contemporaries as the evil inverse of the good housewife and mother; as women who poisoned and harmed others rather than nurturing and caring for them. Diane Purkiss, for example, has argued for early modern England that ‘For women, a witch was a figure who could be read against and

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany