Premodern Masculinities in Transition

Boydell and Brewer

The latest book from Professors Konrad Eisenbichler and Jacqueline Murray, Premodern Masculinities in Transition, has just appeared in the “Gender in the Middle Ages” series of the British publisher Boydell and Brewer. The nine articles in the collection examine a variety of means by which masculinity was constructed, deconstructed, and transformed across time, geographies, and cultures. Articles range across the twelfth to seventeenth century, from western Europe to the Volga-Ural region, from the Christian west to the Muslim east, from Ottomans to Mongols and Persians, from Baudri of Bourgeuil to Blaise de Monluc. Topics range from the chivalric hero to the effeminate zerbino, from beards to spurs, from literature to art and thence to opera. In so doing, this collection reveals how masculinity was understood, inculcated, lived, performed, and viewed. Finally, in that period of great transformation that is the sixteenth century, they illustrate how masculinity moved away from the traditional and recognizable to become something different and distinct from its premodern expressions.

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