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Reading Medieval European Women Writers

Strong Literary Witnesses from the Past

Albrecht Classen

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.
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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at

Cover images: © Albrecht Classen Top left: Tewkesbury Abbey; top right: Young woman, Venetian school, ca. 1500; bottom left: Mary of Burgundy, ca. 1530; bottom right: Bernaert van Orley: Margaret of Austria, ca. 1515 (all: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery).

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Classen, Albrecht, author. Title: Reading medieval European women writers : strong literary witnesses from the past / Albrecht Classen. Description: First edition. | Frankfurt am Main ; New York : Peter Lang, 2016. | In-cludes bibliographical references.

Identifiers: LCCN 2016007929| ISBN 9783631674079 (Print) | ISBN 9783653067415 (E-Book)

Subjects: LCSH: Literature, Medieval--Women authors--History and criticism. | Women in literature.

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