Women, Violence, and English Renaissance Literature: Essays Honoring Paul Jorgensen

Women, Violence, and English Renaissance Literature: Essays Honoring Paul Jorgensen

Edited by Linda Woodbridge (Penn State ) and Sharon Beehler (Montana State University-Bozeman )
2003 | 256 pp. | 978-0-86698-299-3 | Cloth 6 x 9 in
MRTS 256 | $40 | £36 |

As his scholarship and his former students can testify, Paul Jorgensen was acutely aware of the richness of and sensed the potential to be found in studies of represented women and violence. This collection of essays brings together former students of Jorgensen and focuses their attention on this topic. In these fourteen chapters, the authors range over a variety of approaches to the subjected of represented violence towards and by women, and in every case violence is regarded primarily as a physical act. Rape, mutilation, kidnapping, and murder all figure in the Part One accounts of female victims from Desdemona to Pocahontas; while in Part Two, women are associated with violent acts from dueling to filicide to butchery.

However, just as these essays grow out of an intellectual milieu centered on the representation of women and physical violence, so too do they give rise to other areas of investigation: the suppression of discourse critical of wife-beating in fiction and drama; the imbalance between male and female domestic violence in mainstream literature; and the fantastic forms of female violence taken in literature. Together, the ideas for future study suggested here remind us of the extraordinarily fertile field we plow.