Woman As Hero In Old English Literature
by Jane Chance
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
Jane Chance, Professor of English and Women and the Study of Gender at Rice University, has published twenty books and many articles and reviews on medieval women, medieval feminist historiography and mythography, Geoffrey Chaucer, and modern medievalism (Tolkien in particular), among other topics. Her most recent book is a pioneering collection of biographical profiles and memoirs entitled Women Medievalists and the Academy (2005), with seventy contributors. Among her other books are Christine de Pizan's "Letter of Othea to Hector" (1990), Medieval Mythography: From Roman North Africa to the School of Chartres, AD 433-1177 (1994)--winner of the 1994 South Central Modern Language Association Book Award--and several collections, including Gender and Text in the Later Middle Ages (1996). Her essay on Beowulf, "The Structural Unity of Beowulf: The Problem of Grendel's Mother," has been reprinted six times, most recently in the Norton Beowulf critical edition (2001). Her essay "Classical Myth and Gender in the Letters of Abelard and Heloise: Glossed, Gloss, Glossator," published in Listening to Heloise, won the first Best Essay Prize offered by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship in 2005. General editor of the Library of Medieval Women and two other series, she has received many fellowships and has directed two NEH summer seminars/institutes.
"Jane Chance's short but well-documented study of heroic female figures in the literature of the Anglo-Saxon period is a refreshing interpretation of several important texts by analysis of the social values usually ascribed to aristocratic women and each writer's reference to these, either by inverting the normally perceived role or in the reinforcement of it."
- Jonathan W. Nicholls, University of Warwick
'Modern Language Review'
"Jane Chance's 'Woman as Hero in Old English Literature' appears at a time when scholars are turning increasingly to the early Middle Ages in search of more flexible roles for women than those provided in the putative renaissances of later centuries . . . Throughout her discussion Chance displays consistent strengths in her attentiveness to the implication of words and images and in her concern to integrate patristic and Germanic customary expectations about women's roles and nature."
- Hope Weissman, Wesleyan University