Performing Virginity and Testing Chastity in the Middle Ages
By Kathleen Coyne Kelly.
This book challenges the belief that female virginity can be reliably and unambiguously defined, tested and verified. Kelly analyses a variety of medieval Western European texts - including medical treatises and their Classical antecedents - and historical and legal documents. The main focus is the representation of both male and female virgins in saints' legends and romances. The author also makes a comparative study of examples from contemporary fiction, television and film in which testing virginity is a theme. Performing Virginity and Testing Chastity in the Middle Ages presents a compelling and provocative study of the parodox of bodily and spiritual integrity as both presence and absence.
Publication Date: 3 February 2000
Format: Hardback, secondhand