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"Shall she famish then?" : female food refusal in early modern England /
Nancy Gutierrez.
imprint
Aldershot ; Burlington, Vt. : Ashgate, 2003.
description
vii, 146 p. : ill.
ISBN
1840142405 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Aldershot ; Burlington, Vt. : Ashgate, 2003.
isbn
1840142405 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5029980
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Nancy A. Gutierrez is Associate Dean for Academic Personnel at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-04-01:
The literature Gutierrez (Arizona State Univ.) covers concerns the phenomenon of women whose self-starvation expresses "dialogic tensions between institutional authority and individual desire." The author reexamines stories of self-starvation: Margaret Ratcliffe's death, the death of Anne Frankford in Thomas Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness, the death of Penthea in John Ford's The Broken Heart, and several stories of "miracle maidens," i.e., young women who supposedly lived for years without food or drink. Although these stories fit between medieval tales of saintly women who exist without food and modern tales of anorexia, Gutierrez insists they be read as more than transitions from the religious to the scientific understanding of self-starvation. Using performance criticism, rhetorical analysis, and postcolonial criticism, she explores behavior too easily dismissed by modern readers as anorexia and looks closely at how female food refusal can be reinterpreted as feminist resistance, used to "destabilize the established paradigm" of hierarchy and order in the early modern period. The book is copiously documented and includes three appendixes. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and professionals. C. Holt-Fortin SUNY Oswego
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2004
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
The conventional female role in early modern England was governed by male authority figures who could, if need be, decide a woman's fate. This study explores female food refusal during that period linking it to gender, human agency, communal social practices and institutional power.
Long Description
Nancy Gutierrez's exploration of female food refusal during the early modern period contributes to the ongoing conversation about female subjectivity and agency in a number of ways. She joins such scholars as Gail Kern Paster, Jonathan Sawday, and Michael Schoenfeldt, who locate early modern ideas of selfhood in the age's understanding of the body and bodily functions, that is, the recognition that behavior and feelings are a result of the internal workings of the body.Exploring the portrayals of the anorectic woman in the work of Ford, Shakespeare, Heywood and others and arguing that the survival of these women undermines regulatory policies exercised over them by those in authority, Gutierrez here demonstrates how female food refusal is a unique demonstration of individuality. The chapters of this book reveal how the common cultural association of women and food manifests itself in the early modern period-not as religious expression, which is the medieval representation, and not as an expression of dysfunctional adolescence and maturation, our own contemporary view, but rather as a trope in which the female body is a site of political apprehension and cultural change.This study is neither a history nor a survey of the anorectic female body in early modern England, but rather individual yet related discussions in which the starved female body is seen to signify certain (un)expressed tensions within the culture.
Main Description
Nancy Gutierrez's exploration of female food refusal during the early modern period contributes to the ongoing conversation about female subjectivity and agency in a number of ways. Exploring the portrayals of the anorectic woman in the work of Ford, Shakespeare, Heywood and others and arguing that the survival of these women undermines regulatory policies exercised over them by those in authority, Gutierrez here demonstrates how female food refusal is a unique demonstration of individuality. The chapters of this book reveal how the common cultural association of women and food manifests itself in the early modern period as a trope in which the female body is a site of political apprehension and cultural change. This study is neither a history nor a survey of the anorectic female body in early modern England, but rather individual yet related discussions in which the starved female body is seen to signify certain (un)expressed tensions within the culture.
Short Annotation
This study explores female food refusal during that period linking it to gender, human agency, communal social practices and institutional power.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. vii
Contexts and Methodologiesp. 1
The Public Rendering of Margaret Ratcliffe's Deathp. 25
Fasting and Prayer in A Woman Killed with Kindness: Religious Salvation and Political Resistancep. 35
'Starved! starved!': Anatomy and Food Refusal in John Ford's The Broken Heartp. 53
'The Maiden neither eate nor drank one morsel or droppe': Miracle Maidens as Colonial Objectsp. 79
Epilogue: 'What, sir, ... can I do? I have no appetite'p. 103
Inscription on the Tomb of Margaret Ratcliffe at Westminsterp. 113
The Deaths of Queen Elizabeth I and Lady Arbella Stuartp. 115
Chronological Listing of Descriptions of Miracle Maidens, published in England, 1589-1677p. 117
Bibliographyp. 125
Indexp. 141
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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