Courtly love and feminism are strange bedfellows, the one a controversial literary concept, and the other a continuing crusade. Both can be taken seriously or ridiculed. In this incisive book, Antonia Southern tries to do both with both. Courtly Love focuses a feminist lens on fourteen authors, some well-known and some less so. They aimed variously to entertain, amuse, instruct, make money, or please themselves. Marie de France is the supreme example of the last category. Sir Thomas Malory wrote in prison and needed to pass the time. Christine de Pizan wrote to make a living for herself and her family. The Knight of La Tour-Landry wrote advice for his own daughters. Sir Philip Sidney wrote for his sister and her friends. Chr tien de Troyes and Andrew Capellanus had patrons to please, and so sometimes did Geoffrey Chaucer. A historian unrepentantly trespassing in the verdant fields of English literature, Southern rejects the concept of "the Death of the Author" and the divorce of authors from their writing and seeks to understand them on their own terms.
About the Author
Antonia Southern is the author of A House Divided: Christianity in England, 1526-1829 and Player, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist: The Story of Edward Alleyn 1566-1626, both from Academica Press.