The French Fetish from Chaucer to Shakespeare

The French Fetish from Chaucer to Shakespeare

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What was the impact of the Norman Conquest on the culture of medieval and early modern England? Deanne Williams answers this question by contending that not only French language and literature, but the idea of Frenchness itself, produced England's literary and cultural identity. Examining a variety of English representations of, and responses to, France and 'the French' in the work of Chaucer, Caxton, Skelton, Shakespeare and others, this book shows how English literature emerged out of a simultaneous engagement with, and resistance to, the pervasive presence of French language and culture in England that was the legacy of the Norman Conquest. Drawing upon theories of gender and postcoloniality, this book revises traditional notions of English literary history by inserting France as a primary element in English self-fashioning, from Chaucer's Prioress to Shakespeare's Henry V.It reveals, in English attitudes to the French, the combination of effeminacy, heightened sexuality, luxury and emotionalism ... and West, Saida#39;s afterword to the second edition of his influential book underscores, not the fixity of essential categories, but the constant flux of identity-formation: aquot;the development and maintenance of every culture require the existence of another different and competing alter ego.

Title:The French Fetish from Chaucer to Shakespeare
Author: Deanne Williams
Publisher:Cambridge University Press - 2004-11-18

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