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Kingship and Masculinity in Late Medieval England

ISBN: 9780415316125 | 041531612X
Edition: 1st
Format: Nonspecific Binding
Publisher: Routledge
Pub. Date: 10/3/2013

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Kingship and Masculinity in Late Medieval Englandexplores the dynamic between kingship and masculinity in relation to fifteenth century England, with particular focus on Henry V, Henry VI and Edward IV. The role of gender in the rhetoric and practice of medieval kingship is still largely unexplored by medieval historians. Discourses of masculinity informed much of the contemporary comment on fifteenth century kings, for a variety of purposes: to praise and eulogise but also to explain shortcomings and provide justification for deposition. Katherine J. Lewis considers the extent to which ideas of good and bad kingship rested upon a king's embodiment of the right sort of masculinity and examines the discourses of masculinity in relation to contemporary understandings of the nature and acquisition of manhood in the period. The perception of the king was current, not just within the milieu of high politics, but also among his subjects more widely, therefore much rested on ensuring the right balance of masculine qualities. This books primary concerned is with how these three kings were presented, represented and perceived by those around them, but it also considers the extent to which the Kings' can be said to have understood the importance of personifying a particular brand of masculinity, in their performance of kingship and of meeting the expectations of their subjects more widely. Kingship and Masculinity in Late Medieval Englandis an essential resource for students of gender and medieval history.


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