• Jan Shaw
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


The “Introduction” argues that Melusine’s hybridity is a literary representation of medieval beliefs about the monstrosity of women and that such a representation is evidence of the difficulties real medieval women faced in negotiating the day-to-day tensions between ideals and reality. Melusine’s fairy nature is presented as a strategic choice to enable a full consideration of the agentive possibilities of women, without invoking traditional gender hierarchies that historically limited their full participation in social and cultural life. The “Introduction” also provides a useful literary review of past and recent scholarship and concludes with a discussion of the differences between the Middle English and French versions of the tale.


British Museum Cultural Narrative Ontological Difference Spatial Practice Love Relation 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Shaw
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SydneyDepartment of EnglishSydneyAustralia

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