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The Maudlin impression : English literary images of Mary Magdalene, 1550-1700 /
Patricia Badir.
imprint
Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c2009.
description
xix, 300 p. : ill.
ISBN
0268022151 (pbk. : alk. paper), 9780268022150 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c2009.
isbn
0268022151 (pbk. : alk. paper)
9780268022150 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
6943251
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Patricia Badir is associate professor of English literature at the University of British Columbia.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2009-09-15:
The conventional image of Mary Magdalene tends to be a composite of four separate figures from the Gospels: Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus; Mary Magdalene, from whom Jesus cast out devils; the unnamed woman who anoints Jesus's head; and the unnamed sinner who washes his feet with her hair. She was also often conflated with other women such as Mary the Hermit. Many Reformation writers tried to separate or recombine various elements, according to shifting notions of religious experience. Badir (English literature, Univ. of British Columbia) offers a literary history of this dynamic trope. Depictions range from Mary as a symbol of the reformation of a corrupt church and the only one to recognize the divinity of Christ to Mary as a legitimization of the courtesan. In this well-researched and clearly written book, Badir draws on poetry, homilies, plays, sermons, and paintings. Verdict A valuable contribution for scholars of Renaissance literature, this will also be accessible to serious nonspecialists curious about the figure of Mary Magdalene.-T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2010-05-01:
Building on such scholarship as Susan Haskins's comprehensive Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor (1994) and on important work on early modern religious literature by Debora Shuger, Louis Martz, and Barbara Kiefer Lewalski, Badir (Univ. of British Columbia) "takes a deeper look" at the "intersections" between early modern culture and the Bible. She "consider[s] how literary glosses of the Gospel-based Magdalene stretch backward into the medieval past in order to recuperate and protect a range of image-making practices" that in turn "lend material, tangible form to the Bible of the Reformation." To this end, the author analyzes images of the Magdalene in literary texts by writers ranging from the somewhat obscure--the medieval period's Thomas Robinson and Lewis Wager--to the canonical (John Donne, Nicholas Breton, Emilia Lanyer, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, and others). The final chapter, on Aphra Behn's The Rover, provides a fascinating synthesis of the Magdalene figure both in the play and in Restoration portraiture. This volume should interest anyone pursuing study of the early modern period, especially those focusing on religious texts. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. M. Cole Alfred State College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"[Badir] analyzes images of the Magdalene in literary texts by writers ranging from the somewhat obscure--the medieval period's Thomas Robinson and Lewis Wagner--to the canonical (John Donne, Nicholas Breton, Emilia Lanyer, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, and others). . . . This volume should interest anyone pursuing study of the early modern period, especially those focusing on religious texts." -- Choice
"Badir reveals a Magdalene far more complex than the iconic sinner-saint. This Magdalene represents Catholic sacramental devotion, Protestant attention to the Word, vain luxuriousness, meditative bereavement, and aristocratic allure." -- Times Literary Supplement
"In an original and illuminating study, Badir writes a new history of the Magdalene figure, one that turns on the irrevocable loss of Christ, first through his ascension and again through Protestant revisions of Eucharistic theology . . . In Badir's insightful book, the Magdalene's unique and imaginatively captivating role articulates an emerging meditative and representational poetics of absence and presence, of desire and grief." -- Renaissance Quarterly
"In this well-researched and clearly written book, Badir draws on poetry, homilies, plays, sermons, and paintings. A valuable contribution for scholars of Renaissance literature, this will also be accessible to serious nonspecialists curious about the figure of Mary Magdalene." -- Library Journal
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, September 2009
Choice, May 2010
Reference & Research Book News, August 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Badir's book investigates the figure of Mary Magdalene in post-medieval English religious writings and visual representations. She argues that the medieval Magdalene story was not discarded as part of Reformation iconoclasm, but was embraced by English writers and artists and retold in a wide array of genres.
Main Description
Patricia Badir's The Maudlin Impressioninvestigates the figure of Mary Magdalene in post-medieval English religious writings and visual representations. Badir argues that the medieval Magdalene story was not discarded as part of Reformation iconoclasm, but was enthusiastically embraced by English writers and artists and retold in a wide array of genres. This rich study bridges the historical division between medieval and early modern culture by showing the ways in which Protestant writers, as well as Catholics, used the medieval stories, art, and symbolism related to the biblical Magdalene as resources for thinking about the role of the affective and erotic in Christian devotion. Their literary and artistic glosses protected a range of religious devotional practices and lent embodied, tangible form to the God of the Reformation. They employed the Magdalene figure to articulate religious experience by means of a poetics that could avoid controversial questions of religious art while exploring the potency and appeal of the beautiful. The Maudlin Impression is a literary history of imitation and invention. It participates in the "religious turn" in early modern studies by demonstrating the resilience of a single topos across time and across changing Christian beliefs. "In this historically rich and theoretically informed study, Patricia Badir argues that the medieval figure of Mary Magdalene serves as a 'site of memory' for early modern writers, enabling them both to reflect on what has been lost in the aftermath of the Reformation and to fashion their own Protestant and Counter-Reformation models of piety, repentance, mourning, and holiness. Drawing from poems, plays, sermons, homilies, biographies, and paintings, Badir convincingly demonstrates the remarkable resiliency and flexibility of the Magdalene trope in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Her fascinating narrative traces the evolution of the Magdalene from the Reformation to the Restoration and raises provocative questions about the mnemonic function of religious art, the power of beautiful images in an iconoclastic culture, and the place of affect, longing, and embodiment in a Protestant poetics." -- Huston Diehl, University of Iowa "In the aftermath of the Reformation, the English wrote about Mary Magdalene. Sometimes she belongs to a specifically Protestant poetics: the gaudy Catholic whore turned Reformed penitent. Yet most post-Reformation Magdalenes resist Catholic-or-Protestant pigeonholing; instead, all unexpectedly, Badir's quick-eyed scholarship discloses continuities, convergences, recuperations. . . . [Her] book luminously teaches the all-important lesson that the Reformation fought in polemics was not necessarily the Reformation found in poetry." -- Debora Shuger, University of California, Los Angeles "A marvelously textured account from an early modern perspective of an alluring sacred figure about whom there has recently been a Renaissance of cultural interest--popular as well as scholarly. Badir subtly explicates how the theological and artistic issues concerning the devotional depiction of the Magdalene go to the core of Christian representational practice, provoking, all along the way, questions about gender, desire, and sacred eroticism." -- Richard Rambuss, Emory University
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. ix
Note on Editions, Spellings, and Punctuationp. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introduction: Creeping After the Cartp. 1
The Look of Lovep. 21
Touch Me Notp. 59
The Task of Beautyp. 91
Penance in a Sheetp. 121
She's a Nice Piece of Workp. 187
p. 217
Notesp. 221
Bibliographyp. 264
Indexp. 290
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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