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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Rhetoric of the Anchorhold

Space, Place and Body Within Discourses of Enclosure

This volume of essays focuses on religious reclusion in England—commonly referred to as anchoritic enclosure—which reached the height of its popularity, particularly for women, in the later Middle Ages. Examining this extraordinary phenomenon of voluntary, permanent solitary enclosure in a cell attached to a church from a number of different perspectives, Rhetoric of the Anchorhold demonstrates how the rhetoric of this form of enclosure became a key part of religious discourse. Exploring how the anchorhold’s associations traveled into lay culture, this volume argues for the centrality of anchoritic spirituality to the religious climate of the Middle Ages in spite of its seemingly marginalized—and solitary—status.

224 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2008

Medieval Studies

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Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Preface
List of Figures, Tables and Plates
List of Abbreviations
Notes on Contributors
1   Introduction: Place, Space and the Body within Anchoritic Rhetoric
     Liz Herbert McAvoy
I    Public Performance: Rhetoric and Place
2   Spaces of Reclusion: Notarial Records of Urban Eremeticism in Medieval Siena
     Allison Clark
3   Ceremonies of Enclosure: Rite, Rhetoric and Reality
     E.A. Jones
4   ’He speaks to Me as if I was a public meeting’" Rhetoric and Audience in the Works of the Ancrene Wisse Group
     Bella Millett
5   Private Meditations and Public Discourse: Ancrene Wisse and Sermon Rhetoric
    Cate Gunn
II  Private Performance: Rhetoric and Space
6   Inner Space as Speaking Space in Ancrene Wisse
    Anna McHugh
7   Privacy, Exile and the Rhetoric of Solitude in the Medieval English Anchoritic Tradition
    Michelle M. Sauer
8   Gender, Rhetoric and Space in the Speculum Inclusorum, Letter to a Bury Recluse and the Strange Case of Christina Carpenter
     Liz Herbert McAvoy
9   Julian of Norwich and St Bridget of Sweden: Creating Intimate Space with God
     Laura Saetveit Miles
10 Julian of Norwich and the Rhetoric of the Impersonal
    Fumiko Yoshikawa
III  Bodily Performance: Rhetoric and Corporeality
11  From Anchorhold to Cell of Self-Knowledge: Points along a History of the Human Body
     Anne Savage
12 The Childhood of Christ and the Infancy of the Soul in Aelred’s De Iesu Puero Duodenni
     Robin Gilbank
13  Eremita et Latro: Discourses of Hermits and Robbers as the ’Rhetoric of the Outsider’
     Karl-Heinz Steinmetz
Select Bibliography
Appendix: The Letters Concerning the Enclosure of Christina Carpenter

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