The dust-jacket of this book defines Diane Purkiss as a Lecturer in English; within its pages she prefers to describe herself as a feminist literary critic. It is a potent combination, and has resulted in a thoroughly individual and very important book.
This edited collection of essays, published to mark the 20th anniversary of the journal Gender and History, is a welcome and timely reminder of the way in which gender and women’s history has successfully challenged historical orthodoxies, has been used to scrutinize and enrich established timeframes for the past and has vividly exposed the way in which female agency has too often been
Historians with an interest in personal and public memory know a great deal about the challenges entailed in attempting to document the affective contours of past and present lives.
This book offers an investigation into the Anglo-Saxon cultural province of Francia during the eighth century (more specifically the area between the Middle Main and Tauber valleys), which, to borrow the author’s own words, ‘argues that the Christian culture of that region was thoroughly gender-egalitarian and in many ways feminist’ (p. 3).