The Reclamation of a Queen: Guinevere in Modern Fantasy: No 44 by Barbara Ann Gordon-Wise (Hardback, 1991)
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- DescriptionThe Reclamation of a Queen seeks new approaches to Guinevere's shadowed, negative image in the Arthurian legends. There the Queen was generally perceived as either a seemingly passive object of men's desires or as a destructive temptress. Barbara Ann Gordon-Wise asserts that Guinevere's treatment in every historical period has been influenced by basic sociological and ideological pressures and has been conditioned by a traditionally masculine interpretation of women. Recent revisionist treatments by modern fantasy writers present a transfigured Guinevere. Gordon-Wise, who approaches the representations of Guinevere from a medieval perspective and from a Jungian-feminist point of view, demonstrates how the figure of Guinevere attracted to itself the negative aspects of the archetypes of the Mother, Maiden, Wise Woman, and Warrior. She argues that the persistence of this image perpetuated patriarchal ideology which viewed women as subordinate. This study of the development of Guinevere over almost a thousand years of literature suggests far-ranging implications concerning Western attitudes toward women and the current revision of Guinevere in modern fantasy vels may w help to shape a more positive image of the feminine. The eight-chapter volume opens with an invaluable chrology that lists significant historical and literary events related to the Arthurian material beginning in 43 A.D. and extending to the 1987 publication of Persia Woolley's Child of the Northern Spring. A thorough introduction outlines Guinevere's treatment, the Jungian-feminist perspective employed, and surveys the background of the works to be discussed. Chapter One analyses Jung's view on the feminine and later revisions of his archetypes by Toni Wolff. Images of the Terrible Mother, Seductress, and the Witch within traditional and contemporary Arthurian works are the focus of the next three chapters. Chapter Five, Other Guineveres, concerns Arthurian works that are the precursors of the revisionist treatment of Guinevere. Chapters Six and Seven look at the revisionist works of authors Parke Godwin, Sharan Newman, Persia Woolley, Gillian Bradshaw, and Marion Zimmer Bradley. The concluding chapter is followed by a bibliography. Those engaged in the fields of feminist studies, medieval studies, modern fantasy, and Jungian studies will find this insightful work a valuable research tool.
- Author BiographyBARBARA ANN GORDON-WISE is an English teacher at Uxbridge High School, Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Her article, Guinevere3, appeared in Mid-Hudson Language Studies.
- Author(s)Barbara Ann Gordon-Wise
- Date of Publication28/02/1991
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Place of PublicationWestport
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintGreenwood Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight449 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine14 mm
- Format DetailsLaminated cover
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