Module Identifier ENM1220  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator To Be Arranged  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Professor Diane Watt  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   5 x 2-hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 5,000 word essay 
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected. 


Brief description

Recent scholarship has recovered a great deal of previously neglected medieval women's writing. Spiritual texts (often of an autobiographical nature) make up perhaps three quarters of this material, but some early secular works also exist. The aim of this module is not only to introduce a selection of early women's literature, but also to examine the often problematic circumstances of its production. The whole spectrum of writing will be considered, from personal meditations and prayers to biographies and romances. Topics covered will include: representations of women; the anti-feminist tradition and defences of women; women's exclusion from history and from the literary canon; definitions of 'women's writing'; women's style; representations and self-representations of women; the anti-feminist tradition and defences of women; women and religion; feminine piety; and women in medieval society.



1. Women's Literary History: the Medieval Phase

2. A Cell of One's Own

3. Women Writing Fiction

4. Who's Afraid of Margery Kempe?

5. Do Letters Have Authors?

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Alexandra Barratt (ed.) (1992) Women's Writing in Middle English London: Longman Annotated Texts 058206192X
Burgess, Glyn S and Keith Busby, trans (1986) The Lais of Marie de Frnace Penguin
Speigel, Harriet (1987) Marie de Frnace: Fables University of Toronto Press
Kempe, Margery. (1985.) The book of Margery Kempe /translated by B.A. Windeatt. 0140432515
Talbot, C. H. (May 1998) The Life of Christina of Markyate:A twelfth century recluse 0802082025
Watt, Diane (2004.) The Paston women :selected letters /translated from the Middle English with intorduction notes and interpretive essay [by] Diane Watt. 1843840243


This module is at CQFW Level 7