Allegorical Bodies: Power and Gender in Late Medieval France
Published: January 2015© 2015
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 288 Pages
Dimensions: 6.38 x 9.35
288 Pages, 6.38 x 9.35 x 1.05 in
Allegorical Bodies begins with the paradoxical observation that at the same time as the royal administrators of late fourteenth and early fifteenth-century France excluded women from the royal succession through the codification of Salic law, writers of the period adopted the female form as the allegorical personification of France itself. Considering the role of female allegorical figures in the works of Eustache Deschamps, Christine de Pizan, and Alain Chartier, as well as in the sermons of Jean Gerson, Daisy Delogu reveals how female allegories of the Kingdom of France and the University of Paris were used to conceptualize, construct, and preserve structures of power during the tumultuous reign of the mad king Charles VI (1380–1422).
An impressive examination of the intersection between gender, allegory, and political thought, Delogu’s book highlights the importance of gender to the functioning of allegory and to the construction of late medieval French identity.
1. Allegory Is a Woman
2. From douce France to the dame renommée: Figuring the French Body Politic
3. Jean Gerson and the University of Paris
4. Envisioning the Body Politic before and after the Treaty of Troyes
Coda: What to Say about Joan of Arc?
‘In Allegorical Bodies, Daisy Delogu offers a fascinating discussion of the emergence of France as a feminized figure at the same time that women were excluded from royal rule.’Katherine Clark, The Medieval Review November 2015
‘Remarkably well documented study… Delogu’s work offers a new perspective on female allegories of late Middle Ages…Her interdisciplinary approach deserves a wide readership among those interested in authors, theologians, and legal scholars that Delogu examines here.’Judy Kem, Renaissance Quarterly vol 69:02:2016
‘Ambitious and beautifully crafted book… Delogu’s careful reading and attention to surplus meaning allows her to expand our frames of reference regarding the purpose and effect of the late medieval allegorical arguments.’Nancy Ann Mcloughlin, Sehepunkte June 2016
‘Daisy Delogu has written a fascinating, elegant, and original study of the gendering of metaphor and allegory in late medieval political writing in France…Most excellent study.’Kathy M. Krause, H-France vol 16:75:2016
‘Delogu’s book is essential reading for anyone interested in late medieval allegory, political thought, and questions of gender.’Catherine M. Jones, French Review Vol 90:04:2017
“Daisy Delogu’s wide-ranging study interrogates notions of gender and its role in late medieval French political life and thought through the lens of the allegorical figures of France and the University of Paris. Impeccably researched and eminently readable, Allegorical Bodies is a learned, witty, and truly innovative book.” Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Department of French and Italian, University of Pittsburgh
“Allegorical Bodies is a rich, carefully researched study. Its analyses are filled with wonders.” Tracy Adams, Department of French, University of Auckland