The stories of the virgin martyrs necessarily emphasize the torture and mutilation of lovely younger ladies. To the fashionable reader, those renowned texts look like workouts in sadism, yet whereas they can be made to operate as autos for energetic misogyny, in addition they supplied Medieval ladies reminiscent of Hildegard of Bingen and Joan of Arc with position versions who helped them to form their very own awesome destinies. This ebook explores the power of the virgin physique to generate contradictory meanings, either repressive and freeing, looking on who informed the story and the way it was once informed.

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