An indication of the rights of woman: a feminist text-image analysis of the 'Response du Bestiaire'

Glen, Abigail L. (2014) An indication of the rights of woman: a feminist text-image analysis of the 'Response du Bestiaire'. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information:


My thesis presents the first feminist text-image analysis of MS 412. This manuscript contains illustrated versions of Richard de Fournival’s 'Bestiaire d’amour' and an anonymous 'Response' to it, which is written from the perspective of a female member of the nobility. The author of the 'Response' is unknown. My ultimate aim is to ascertain whether the images that accompany these bestiary images support or detract from what I consider to be the pro-woman nature of the Response text.
The 'Response' has been considered one of the first secular proto-feminist works in Europe, but there is no evidence to confirm the identity of its author. In the Introduction, I briefly discuss the scholarship on this subject, before considering the various socio-political issues that may have influenced the composition of this text and a modern critical reading of it. To do so, I distinguish between the Lady (a gendered fictional construct with distinct characteristics) and the Response-author (the actual author of the work, whose biography is unknown). I give a general history of the bestiary, as well as of the 'Bestiaire d’amour' and its author, Richard de Fournival. In later chapters, I present a feminist text-image study of the Response, analysing fifteen of a possible forty-eight entries.
Ultimately, this study aims to uncover any misogyny to be found in the images, or indeed, any pro-female content. Through the analysis of the animal exempla, I ask: How does the artist/author manipulate traditional bestiary iconography? How does the artist/author use or alter the iconography used in BnF fr. 412’s 'Bestiaire'’s illustrations? How is the language of gesture used to portray information in the images? And above all: if the Lady is who she says she is, can we state that she is truly pro-woman, and in what ways?

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available after any embargo period has expired.
Keywords: Bestiaire d’amour, Response du Bestiaire, feminist, bestiary, text-image, Richard de Fournival, Adam and Eve,illuminated manuscripts, Lilith, Medieval, Medieval French, Middle French
Subjects: N Fine Arts > ND Painting
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Supervisor's Name: Strickland, Dr. Debra Higgs and Robertson, Professor Elizabeth
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Ms Abigail L. Glen
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-6214
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 09:09
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2019 14:25

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