Madeline H. Caviness

Reframing Medieval Art:
Difference, Margins, Boundaries

Table of Contents:



Note to the Reader

Introduction: Soundings/Sightings

Chapter 1: Writing Women: Problematics of History and Language

Chapter 2: Norman Knights, Anglo-Saxon Women, and the "Third Sex:" The Masculinization of England After the Conquest

Chapter 3: Hedging in Men and Women: The Margins as Agents of Gender Construction

Chapter 4: Edging Out Difference: Revisiting the Margins as a Postmodern Project

Afterword: Social Control through Multivalent Images

Reader Comments


Chapter 3: Hedging In Men and Women: The Margins as an Agent of Gender Construction


Thus the deliberative faculty in the soul is not present at all in a slave; in a female it is inoperative, in a child undeveloped. . . . It is also clear that there is some variation in the ethical virtues; self-respect is not the same in a man as in a woman, nor justice, nor courage either, as Socrates thought; the one is courage of a ruler, the other courage of a servant, and likewise with other virtues. . . .

. . . children and women too, must be educated with an eye to the whole constitution of the state -- at least if it is true to say that it makes a difference to the goodness of a state that its children should be good and its women good. And it must make a difference; for women make up half the adult free population . . .

Aristotle, The Politics I:13 (pp. 52, 54)

Filii tibi sunt? erudi illos et curua illos a puericia eorum. Filiae tibi sunt? serva corpus earum et non ostendas hilarem faciem tuam ad illas. (Do you have sons? Train them and bow them down from their boyhood. Do you have daughters? Guard their bodies and do not show them affection [a joyful face])

Ecclesiasticus 7:25-6, cited by Giles of Rome.

"socialized, even revolutionary, but at the cost of the body; body crying, infatuating, but at the cost of time; cut-off, swallowed up; on the one hand, the aphasic pleasure of childbirth that imagines itself a participant in the cosmic cycles; on the other, jouissance under the symbolic weight of a law (paternal, familial, social, divine) of which she is the sacrificed support, bursting with glory on the condition that she submit to the denial, if not the murder, of the body . . ."
Kristeva, About Chinese Women 1

Figure 3.1

If we look closely at the frontispiece and text of a French translation of Giles of Rome's de regimine principum , the early fourteenth-century Livre du gouvernement des rois in the Morgan Library (fig.1), we can decipher it as a representation of Good and Bad Government. We find the author and the receptive (good) ruler in conversation, safely sheltered within the opening initial, apparently oblivious to another crowned figure (the bad ruler) who bows a fiddle across the text from them; this female grotesque prances to the sound with a wyvern's clawed feet, and is otherwise supported on a muscular tail that divides to curl into a leafy tendril and to dangle down the right side of the page; she wears a nun's or widow's black, with a white wimple. This grotesque creature brackets most immediately a passage that outlines the author's purpose, to enable the king to govern his realm according to law and reason, and not by evil desires or bad impulses -- as if, the freak ruler seems to say, by women (Giles of Rome, 3). 2


The main thrust of the introduction to the Livre du gouvernement , which begins with a reference to Aristotle's Politics, is that only natural governance can endure over time, because unnatural rule uses force, and stems from bad impulses and desires (Giles of Rome, 2). 3 We learn later on that all bodily delights are bestial, and princes who do not practice sexual abstinence will be like beasts (Giles of Rome, I/II chs. 15-16, pp. 54-58) As if to underline the threat of instability caused by evil desires, a bearded grotesque cavorts with a long-eared chimera above the text, and a small white dog fends off an aggressive hare in a duel above the first initial. Down the left side of the page (now almost hidden in the gutter), a very rubbed chimera with a long tail shoots an arrow up toward an ostrich-like bird which is excluded from the orderly scene of instruction in the initial. Within the logic of this text, animals also fall into the category of "unnatural," since they do not obey law and reason. Above the large grotesque to the right, a falcon grips a smaller bird by the neck, an example of rule by force; it can be glossed by later passages in the text as an example of beasts and birds who live by rapine (Giles of Rome, I/II ch. 3, pp. 273-74). The females of these species, especially the hawks, are more aggressive (crueles). Since the falcon is larger, braver, and stronger (plus hardi et plus forz) than its mate (the tiercel), this female does the hunting. But Giles counters the argument of Plato and Socrates that this means it is natural for women to learn to fight and to go into battle; women are not wise or intelligent enough to plan a campaign, nor courageous enough to fight, nor strong enough to wield weapons effectively (Giles of Rome, ch. 7, pp. 280-281). 4

The stringed instrument played by the evil ruler alludes to the greatest fault of women, their arousal of sexual desire; not only might it be used for love songs, but its very shape is like a woman's abdomen, and the player/lover manipulates the strings. 5 Later on, the author stresses that young men must renounce pleasure in women (deliz de fame) by avoiding frivolous words and the sight of ugly or evil things such as paintings or statues of nude women (Giles of Rome, II/II ch. 10, pp. 206-207). The emblems in the margins of this first and only illuminated page are lurid demonstrations of the dangers of straying from the precepts laid out in the text.

The Project

This pair of chapters continues the exploration of social boundaries and the construction of gender. In this chapter, I enlist medieval notions of sexual difference and gender construction, and some of their ancient antecedents, in order to demonstrate how selected works of art may have played a role in gender construction in the early years of the fourteenth-century. The period is a crucial one for the decline of women's status, which continued through the Renaissance and beyond. At many junctures in European history, women have tended to be defined by their bodily functions, whereas men were defined by their actions. The vehemence with which women were put in their place in this period is a reminder that gender polarity has been a recurrent imperative in Western culture.

Such contextual analysis, like iconology, predictably finds agreement between theology and art, and therefore leaves its own terms unperturbed. This case study grew from my earlier work which had tacitly naturalized male/female difference, within a modernist frame that was as yet untroubled by the new challenges of the '90s. I will re-examine the theoretical base in the next chapter, and return these historical subjects to a fuller political context, including "thick description" such as has been used by historians of the annales school to disrupt polarities.

In an article that first appeared in the "feminist" issue of Speculum, I argued that the marginalia in the early fourteenth-century book of hours that belonged to the French queen Jeanne d'Evreux were not only participants in a medieval discourse of sexuality, but that they did ideological work in guiding the recipient toward correct "womanly" behaviors, including maternity and the control of sexual desire (Caviness 1993). 6 The poignant circumstances of this pubescent girl, married at thirteen to her first cousin the reigning king of France to replace a first wife who was accused of adultery and a second who died as a consequence of childbirth, lent weight to this argument. 7 This intimate prayer book was her husband's gift to her, and its encoded messages would be all the more heeded. Since this chapter expands on the line of research initiated then, I will restate the main theoretical points here. I will draw also from the shorter version published among the papers from the 1991 Tokyo Colloquium of the International Committee for the History of Art, since it laid out some of my theoretical grounds more clearly (Caviness, 1995):


Figure 3.8

I critiqued Foucault's historical concept that sexuality did not develop into discourse until the modern period, while finding his view that the modern discourse repressed rather than liberated sexuality is equally appropriate to the medieval discourse (Caviness 1995, 482). 8

Figure 3.9

"Liberating" motifs that allude to fecundity (such as the Virgin Mary, and ubiquitous hares, pots and baskets, and lush foliage) instigate desire for offspring rather than sexual desire and they are offset by aggressive and unnatural creatures, often on the same page (Caviness 1993, 41-53; e.g. figs. 8, 9, 17, 39 here).

Figure 3.17

The double meaning I suggested for the prayer under the Annunciation, "Oh Lord open thou my lips," as an allusion to Jeanne's lord and husband and her sex, finds support in medical texts that treat the womb, or the internal orifice of the uterus, as a mouth. 9

Figure 3.39


-- I challenged Bakhtin's view of grotesques, or hybrid creatures, as humorous; Bakhtin's interpretation of the carnavalesque as subversive of dominant ideologies has held great vogue with art historians such as Schapiro, and generally supported the view that freaks inhabiting the margins are "drôleries" (Caviness 1993, 55-59). 10 The ribald jokes in the margins belong rather to an anthropological category known to suppress sexuality even while invoking it (Caviness 1993, 55-60). 11 Gradval's use of Freud in relation to the "game of rape" in the pastourelle literature would also have assisted me. 12

-- I suggested that reading the images in such books as a very young woman might give rise to fear rather than mirth.

Figure 3.2

Most of the hybrids, or freaks, in the margins of the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux appeared to me grotesque, in the sense of repulsive; they are also phallic, with the likely result of dampening a young girl's sexual appetite at the very moment of her marriage to a king. As many as seven bestial men may inhabit a single page of this tiny book (fig. 2). Yet other valences are present, and might have been accessible to Jeanne later in her life (Caviness 1993, 54).


-- I proposed that some images (notably the framed narrative scenes) operated as a didactic program, to be deciphered with the help of her confessor. Others (notably the aggressive weapons and tools, and phallic grotesques) were produced and read at a less conscious level (Caviness, 1995, 482-485). Jeanne might have been guided by both to become a "chaste bride," confining sexual activity to procreation as was increasingly being preached by churchmen. I might have found further support for this thesis among the texts studied by Duby, such as the admonition of Saint Ivo of Chartres at the end of the eleventh century, citing Jerome, that: "To make love voluptuously and immoderately in marriage is adulterous" (Duby, 164). And the thirteenth-century translator of Ovid's Ars amatoria into French added a gloss warning wives not to be adulterous. 13 But with such additional evidence my reading would become overdetermined, and as such would seem to ascribe the whole "program" to unified intention, whereas I prefer to lay much of it at the door of ideology.

-- I suggested that the kiss of Judas endorsed the violent suppression of homosexuality, especially among males, that had resulted in the burning of Templars in Paris in 1314 (Caviness 1993, 32). 14 In that scene, Christ has such an exaggerated stance that he looks as pregnant (=female) as the Virgin of the Annunciation on the facing page, and in the bottom of the page two men riding goats joust at a barrel. The lascivious mounts and spears invoke sexual aggression, while the barrel is normally a symbol for the fecund womb. I can now add the affirmation that "quintain" or tilting at a barrel or sack was a common way for the groom to prove his virility after his marriage, in preparation for "jousting"in bed. 15 Indeed a similar scene is combined with a marriage in an earlier manuscript from the north of France. 16

Figure 4.8

That scene no doubt refers to the actual games that follow the wedding ceremony, since the youthful knights ride caparisoned horses; in the margin a young man dances to his own portable organ. And although in this case the couple is shown joining their right hands, the nuptial kiss was also a part of the medieval marriage, thus completing the circular reference to the kiss of Judas. 17 This normative juxtaposition points up the deviant combinations in the betrayal page painted for Jeanne d'Evreux, and of a variant that is discussed in the next chapter (fig. 4.8).


My contention has been that even the seemingly irrational and spontaneous motifs in the margins participated in ideological work, specifically in support of assigned behaviors that were purportedly based on sexual difference. Michael Camille has made a similar point about peasants laboring in the margins in a contemporary English psalter, where they construct and support class difference. 18 But in 1993 I did not respond directly to the vast - and rapidly growing - literature on gender construction. Nor did I consider how to answer the charge of essentialism that several readers expressed in terms of personal experience, being unable to share my view of the hybrids in the margins; there is and was not, they said, only one way of "reading as a woman." Ironically, their criticism was invited by my own acknowledgment of alterity -- of the cultural and personal distance between myself and Jeanne -- and I suspect by my "deconstruction of the opposition between the private and the public" which Spivak had acknowledged as "at least implicit in all feminist activity" (e.g. Sandler, 1997, 31-33; Spivak, 201). 19 There was an evident need to enlarge upon this case study in light of the current debate over polar differences such as "man" and "woman," and this will be broached in the next chapter.

At the same time, an insistent challenge came from men who heard the material presented, and who wanted to know if I could apply this kind of analysis to men's books, a suggestion for which I am grateful. 20 In a timely way, these critics encouraged me to pursue the question of the construction of masculinity. These chapters are a response to them, since I have expanded the original case study to more than a dozen books, almost half of which were made for men. Such scrutiny is now assumed to be a legitimate and even necessary part of the feminist project. In 1992 Sedgwick noted that "feminist studies, whose name specifies the angle of inquiry rather than the sex of either its subject or its object, can make (and indeed has needed to make) the claim of having as privileged a view of male as of female cultural production. 21 My answer now is that male cultural production would have been the easier place to begin, because the imagery in men's books is more obvious (=rational) in its didactic messages. Subsequent research has indeed confirmed subtle differences in the repertory of motifs represented in books destined for women's use, as opposed to men's. I have systematically named and counted all the motifs in fifteen manuscripts. Nine of these books were made for the use of women, most of them at the court of France in the early years of the fourteenth century. Six were destined for men of more diverse backgrounds dispersed over three generations, between the late thirteenth and the late fourteenth centuries (Tables 1-3). 22

The framework for this chapter is provided by pre-modern theories of gender construction. There is not sufficient space in this book to theorize another very significant issue, that of reading the grotesque in light of both medieval attitudes and modern psychoanalytic and semiotic explanations. This very significant topic for medieval cultural studies is the subject of a separate study, though some of my conclusions will be enlisted in what follows. 23 Aristotle figures importantly in both areas: His concept of gender formation, which I already touched on in chapter 2, is fundamental for thirteenth and fourteenth-century treatises on behaviors; and his notion of the unnatural, as defined by the goat-stag chimera, was very actively debated in the schools of theology in just the regions and at just the moment that freaks invaded the margins of sacred books, and even stained glass. But, for the sake of clarity, this chapter preserves the usual division into two major sections. The first considers the carefully selected group of manuscripts as cultural products that participated in gender ideology in the fourteenth century. Such a focused case study can begin to demonstrate the extent to which gender is historically contingent. To understand the changes that were taking place in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, we will next look at pre-existing symbolic gender systems and medieval theories of gender construction.

Books for Women and Men

Manuscript illuminations were not a viable means to influence mass culture, but the private books of devotion given to women were a natural vehicle for ideological work, precisely because of their intimacy, and daily personal use. The numbers of prayer books made "for" women (or, in some cases, as I have suggested elsewhere, "against" them) is not to be confused with a heightened level of female education -- reading the Psalms and hours is hardly conducive to broad analytic thought, and could be done with a purely passive or even phonetic knowledge of the language. 24 However, the other type of book women are documented owning with some frequency is the vernacular romance, a genre which includes fictional mothers reading to daughters. 25 And there were a few exceptionally learned women: Mahaut of Artois, mother to Blanche de Bourgogne and Jeanne d'Artois, had owned a great library (Table 1). She may have commissioned a Concordance of the Gospels from an artist in Jean Pucelle's sphere that passed into the library of the Dukes of Burgundy, and thence to the Bibliothèque Royale in Brussels. 26 A number of other commissions and purchases are a matter of record, including a French translation of Boethius, and silver boxes that she used for carrying books with her between Artios and Paris. Mahaut appears in a de luxe edition of the writings of Raymon Lull, alongside the Queen of France (most probably her own daughter, Jeanne, married to Philippe V) to whom her physician Thomas Le Myésier intended to present the work (Hillgarth, 161-179). 27 Clemence of Hungary, second wife of Louis le Hutin, also had a good many books in Latin and the vernacular, and Jeanne d'Evreux bought many of them, including a number of her vernacular works or "roumans," on Clemence's death in 1328. 28 Several of the devotional books I am concerned with were made for this generation -- they are small but sumptuously illustrated books, to appeal to their bibliographic interests. By the second half of the fourteenth century, however, owning illuminated manuscripts had become a predominantly male prerogative, as attested to by the libraries of Bonne of Luxembourg's sons who had acquired several of these books made for women. Buettner has emphasized the extent to which the ownership and patronage of books shifted from women to men in the late fourteenth century. 29

The process of identifying manuscripts to form a cohesive group for extended study was instructive. There is no shortage of books with marginalia that were made for women; indeed, when an owner can be identified, it seems almost by definition that books made for private devotion in the early fourteenth century and having dense marginal decorations did belong to women. 30 The books selected for detailed study were illuminated between 1319 and 1353 by artists working in the styles associated with Jean Pucelle and his followers. 31 At least four of these eight French books are associated with the Dominican or Franciscan orders. 32 All but one were made for women in the circle of the ruling families of France, and the one outsider, the Taymouth Hours from England, may have belonged to a daughter of Isabelle of France and Edward II (Tables 1-3). 33 The genealogical table points up another commonality among these women: Almost all were given names that connote purity or virginity, like so many Snow Whites; they are Blanche (white), or Marguerite (a white daisy), or Agnes (a pure white lamb), or Jeanne (for Jean or John the Evangelist, the patron saint of virgins).

Among productions from Pucelle's shop, an element of symmetrical diversity is provided by one book made originally for male religious -- the Belleville Breviary -- and two made for female religious -- the Breviary of Blanche of France and the Waddesdon Psalter; because of its rare significance, I have included an analysis of the latter even though the marginal decoration is incomplete. It was not possible, however, to identify a comparable number of devotional books with marginalia that were made for men in the French royal circle, although the psalter made in Tournai about 1315 for Louis X le Hutin is an outstanding example. 34 At either end of the period, neither the Breviary of Philippe le Bel, made in Paris and illuminated by Maitre Honoré before 1296, nor the Breviary made for Charles V before 1380, employ significant marginalia. 35 The pictures in the latter depend on Pucelle's Belleville Breviary, so a conscious choice was made not to copy the marginalia.

However, earlier books made for aristocratic women from the region to the north of Paris, "Marie's Book of Hours" in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, dated in the early 1270s by Bennett, and the Psalter of Yolande of Soissons of ca. 1275-85, already had a significant number of the motifs that seem especially appropriate to women's ownership. 36 The marginal decoration in book of hours made in Paris about 1280-90 for a noble English woman, perhaps Joan de Valence, is more restrained, though the large number of male grotesques may have been more frightening to a pubescent girl than to their robust modern interpreter. 37 Meanwhile at the French court, extensive marginalia were introduced in secular books of a less private kind. Furthermore, the Decretals of Gratian in Tours, purchased by Philippe le Bel from Honoré in 1288, differs from his Breviary in its extensive use of chimeras, birds, and hounds hunting hares in the margins. I suggest they were co-opted by the legal text - another kind of behavioral manual - to allude to the dangers of existence without legal constraints.

Figure 3.1

I have already examined the ways that horrid bestiality is invoked in relationship to unnatural (bad) government in the frontispiece to an early fourteenth-century copy of the French translation of Giles of Rome's treatise on the moral behaviors of princes, (fig. 1). The translation was prepared by Henri de Gauchi for Philippe le Bel in 1286, but a copy belonged to his daughter-in-law Clemence and was bought by Jeanne d'Evreux on her death in 1328 (Holladay, 602). 38 These examples suggest cross-fertilization between genres of books, regardless of the gender of the owner.


In order to balance the number of men's devotional books included in my case-study, I extended the group by including at least one of the famous late thirteenth-century Flemish manuscripts that seem to have initiated the fashion for marginalia: The Psalter of Guy de Dampierre, count of Flanders is one of many forerunners of the book made for Louis le Hutin. The addition of the East Anglian Peterborough Psalter, made for a Fenland churchman between 1299 and 1318, allows consideration of distinctions between religious and secular male readers (Sandler, 1974, 9). The latest French work included is the Grandes Heures of Jean, duc de Berry, a son of Bonne of Luxembourg (whose Psalter is examined here); his painters had access to many of the earlier books in his library, so that this late work demonstrates an eclectic use of the repertory of earlier motifs. It has also been noticed that his Petites Heures, made in the last decades of the fourteenth century, copied the grotesques that inhabit the picture grounds in his mother's Psalter (Morand, 26-27). The manuscripts in which I counted the marginal motifs are listed in the tables that follow (2-3), and many of their owners appear in the Capetian genealogy in Table 1.

The early Flemish and English books are among likely sources for the "programs" that were more systematically developed for women at the Capetian court. Theological debates concerning Aristotle's goat-stag, to be touched on below, were closely associated with the circles of Roger Bacon and Henry of Ghent (whose career was divided between Flanders and Paris) in the latter part of the thirteenth century, coincidental with the eruption of marginal chimeras in English, Flemish, and north French manuscripts. There would be many channels for the dissemination of these motifs; Flanders had close contacts with the eastern regions of England, as well as with Paris. One specific "carrier" can be identified: The Peterborough Psalter belonged to Clemence of Hungary, widow of Louis X le Hutin, and was sold to Philippe VI on her death in 1328, thus passing into the French royal library. 39 Geoffrey of Croyland had given it to Cardinal Gaucelin d'Euse in 1318, and he to his uncle Pope John XXII; Clemence could have had it in Paris in time to have influenced Pucelle's marginal repertory in the 1320's. 40

Facts and Figures, Terms and Agendas:

The study that I began nearly a decade ago privileged readings that were framed by the plight of a pubescent girl, whose new husband had been twice married, and whose subjectivity was being controlled by the Dominican prayerbook he gave her. I looked at the illuminations in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux only in terms of a "woman" (specifically a young bride) reading, a viewing position that no scholar had occupied in relation to that particular book.

Figure 3.4

In some ways, the project was as problematic as the older ones that claimed to know the artist's intentions, yet my sense was that it needed to be attempted in order to shift the terms of the discussion.

Figure 3.5

In expanding the data base to other manuscripts, I deliberately recorded the same motifs whose resonances situated them at the conflicted intersection of fecundity, sexuality, and Christian morality (Tables 2-3).


Table 2. Manuscripts made for women, with extensive marginalia tabulated to test gender specificity in the choice of motifs:

a. The Books:

  • fr = religious
  • fl = laity
  • fm = married
  • fw = widow
  • 1 fr. Franciscan Breviary of Blanche of France, daughter of Phillipe V de Long (1316-1322) and Jeane d'Artois. Blanche entered Longchamp in 1315 and took orders in 1318; ca. 1318-1320 on liturgical evidence (Rome, Vatical Library, 603; 18 x 12.4)
  • 2 fr. Psalter at Waddesdon, made for a Dominican nun at the House of Poissy-St.-Louis near Paris, dated 1326-28 on liturgical evidence (Waddesdon Manor, bucks, MS. 2; 12.5 x 8.5 cm).
  • 3 fm. Dominican Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, presumed to be the book mentioned in her will as a gift of Charles le Bel (m. 1324), and illuminated by Jean Pucelle; bequeathed to Charles V. Made c. 1324 (New York The Cloisters, 54.1.2; 9.4 x 6.4 cm).
  • 4 fw. Franciscan Breviary of Jeanne d'Evreux, 2nd of 2 vols, 1328-71, probably made c. 1335 (Chantilly, Musee Conde MS 51/1887; 14 x 10 cm).
  • 5 fl. The Taymouth Hours, made for a royal/noble English lady, c. 1320-30, perhaps Joan, daughter of Edward II and Isabelle of France (London, British Library, YT 13; 16.8 x 11 cm).
  • 6 fl. Hours of Jeanne de Savoie, great grand-daughter of Louis IX of France, m. Jean III Duke of Brittany 1329, d. 1344; probably made c. 1320. (Paris, Musee Jacquemart Andre MS 1; 19 x 13cm).
  • 7fm/w Franciscan Hours of Jeanne II de Navarre (1311-1349), daughter of Louis X le Hutin of France and his first wife Marguerite de Bourgogne, married Philippe III d'Evreux in 1328; queen of Navarre 1329; dated after 1329-1336 on the basis of heraldry. Prayers in French (Paris, BN MS n acq lat 3145; 17.8 x 13.5 cm).
  • 8 fm. Psalter and Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg, daughter of Jean of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, m. in 1332 Jean, Duke of Normandy [later Jean le Bon of France], she d. 1349; mother of Charles V and Jean de Berry. Prayers in French. Dated after 1332 by heraldry, probably made c.1340-49 (New York, The Cloisters, 69.86; 12.6 x 8.8 cm).
  • 9 fm. The Hours of Yolande of Flanders, m. 1353 Philippe de Navarre, sone of Jeanne II de Navarre, whose arms are impaled with hers on many folios. The book was badly damaged by water in the last century, and was not helped by John Ruskin's ownership since he dispersed some pages (London BL, MS YT 27; 11.5 x 9 cm. Leaves in the Bodleian and in the National Museum, Stockholm, not examined.)

b. Motifs in the margins of books made for women
manuscripts 1fr 563ff 2fr 12/382ff 3fm 209ff 4fw 461ff 5f1 194ff 6f1 154ff 7fm/w 154ff 8fm 334ff 9fm 138ff
marginal motifs Br Blanche de France Ps Poisy-St-Louis Hrs Jeanne d'Evreux Br Jeanne d'Evreux Hrs Taymouth Hrs Jeanne de Navarre Ps Bonne of Luxembourg Hrs Yolande of Flanders
infants 2 3 7 2 3
boys + young men 6 + 22 3 19 + 6 [16] 5 34 49 25 23/24
male grotesques 199 24 >530 38 2 352 26 26 85
male dragons 7 1
male herms with mg 2 3 3 22 7 73
androgynous g/d 27 2
female grotesques 41 2 20 12 55 6 2 22
female dragons
female herms 2 16
chimeras/dragons 195 24 286 294 3 127 12/c150 17 74
musical instruments:
bagpipes/bellows 8 13 4 2 8 1 8
horn/flute/jaw 6 2 23/4 2 1 12 3 16
drums/bells etc 24 3 25 3 1 9 15 1 15
stringed 11 7 5 5 7 3 5
spear/bow & arrow 12 19 1 5 38 8 16
sword/dagger/cutlass 22 1 44 1 1 38 24[+2] 8 17
club/farm implement 13 3 30 1 1 29 18 5 18
billhook/scythe 1 5 5 3 1
barrel, basket, pot 15 1 c50 9 3 9 22 9 46
Spindles 1 ?1 1 1 ? 2
leafy trees, masks 10 20 14 32 17 12
rabbit or hare/dog 85/40 c55 >9 26/25 6 16 65/12
cat/mouse 1 3 3 2/2 1/1 2 1/2
squirrel 2 2 1 1 1
horned: stag, goat, snail 12 18 1 4 11 1 6 9
horned: boar 8/9 2 2
horned: unicorn 1 1 1?
ape 6 5 5 6 4 24 5 5
lion/horse -/3 16/- [3] 4/- 9/3 [3] 5/- 10/-
birds/butterflies 85/- -/1 1 nc 230/- nc 291/- 27/1

Table 3. Manuscripts made for men, with extensive marginalia tabulated to test gender specificity in the choice of motifs:

a. The Books:

  • me = ecclesiastic (includes clerks, monks and priests)
  • ml = laity
  • mm = married
  • mw = widower
  • lm?. Psalter made in Flanders, mid-13th century; gender of owner presumed to be male from the form of the prayer f. 141 misere mei, but with the caveat that this only means the scribe did not have specific female usage in mind (Brussels, BR, MS. 5163-64; 29 x 16.8 cm).
  • 2mm. Psalter of Guy de Dampierre, Count of Flanders, between 1280 and 1297 on the basis of heraldry and the calender (Brussels, Biblioteque Royale, MS. 10607; 11.25 x 7.5 cm).
  • 3me. Peterborough Psalter, made for the Benedictine Abbot Geoffrey of Crowland in East Anglia, before 1318. Given to papal nuncio in 1318, and by Pope John XXII to Clemence of Hungary (d. in Paris 1328), bought from her estate by Philippe le Valois, it eventually pased to Charles V. Studied from reproductions. (Brussels, Bibliotheque Nationale, MSs lat. 10483-84; 24 x 17 cm).
  • 4mm. Psalter of Louis X le Hutin, made for the confraternity of the Damoiseaux and intended as a gift for the king and his first wife, Marguerite de Bourgogne, on his visit to Tournai in 1315 (Tournai, Archives de l'Eveche, no number; 17.5 x 12 cm).
  • 5me. The Dominican"Belleville" Breviary, is named for an early female owner but several rubrics and prayers are for the use of monks. Dated by the calender 1323-26, the decoration is associated with Jean Pucelle. Studied in microfilm. (2 vols, Paris, Bibliotecque Nationale, MSs lat. 10483-84; 24 x 17 cm).
  • 6mm Grandes Heures de Jean de France, Duc de Berry (son of Jean le Bon and Bonne of Luxemburg) 1407-1409. Copied in part from Belleville, and with knowledge of the Psalter of Jeanne d'Evreux. Studied from the partial facsimile, and microfilm. (Paris, Biblioteque Nationale, MS lat. 919; 40 x 30 cm).

b. Books made for men
Manuscripts 1m? 142ff 2mm 245ff 3me 107ff 4mm 5me 445+431ff 6mm 112/123ff
marginal motifs Flemish Psalter Psalter of Guy Dampierre Peterborough Psalter Psalter of Louis le Hutin 'Belville' Breviary Gds Heures Jean de Barry
infants 1[+8] 1
boys + young men 60 (c.f. 11fem) 13 (cf 17girls) 29 7 27[2 girls]
male grotesques 10 107 72 64 48 108
male dragons 56 39 39
male herms 15 2 87 4
androgenous g/d 240 10
female grotesques 1 41 13 160 24 19
female dragons 1 17
female herms
chimeras/dragons 247 313 192 169 >100 75
musical instruments:
bagpipes/bellows 8 4 15 8 8
horn/flute/jaw 14 17 24 14 9
drums/bells etc 4 7 7 18
stringed 18 6 4 8 8
spear/bow & arrow 17 14 10 11 21
sword/dagger/cutlass 24 8 23 36 22
club/farm implement 17 5 18 15 15
billhook/scythe 4 3
barrel, basket, pot 9 1 3 12 14
spindles 2 2 1 4
leafy trees, masks 4 5 8
rabbit or hare/dog 3 13/10 18 40 7 5/7
cat/mouse 1/- 4 6 2/-
squirrel 2 2 1
horned: stag, goat, snail 2 7 6 5 rams 1 2
horned: boar
horned: unicorn
ape 1 6 4 195 4 10
lion/horse 3/- 4/1 4/- 3 2 3/2
birds/butterflies 7 71 64 550 326/46

I developed the statistical project in response to accusations of subjectivity from the old guard. The results made me feel more secure, since the figures confirmed two of my major claims (Tables 2b & 3b): Firstly, certain motifs that I took to connote fecundity are abundant in books made for new brides, but entirely absent from one of the nuns' books (2fr, the Poissy-St.-Louis Psalter) and not common in the other (1fr).

Figure 3.6

And the absence of young girls, as opposed to the number of small boys, who are even gratuitously used as field labor in the calendar scenes, confirm a wish for sons rather than daughters. However, late in the project I perceived that boy-freaks might constitute a separate androgynous category -- one that I had struggled to label in my binary system by comparing hair styles with biblical characters like the boy David. This issue will be raised again in the next chapter.


Figure 3.2

Secondly, an outstanding statistic is that grotesques with female hair styles (and sometimes bare breasts) are proportionately more numerous in relation to male grotesques in books made for men than they are in women's books; the ratio of female to male ranges from 1:2 to 1: 6 in the men's books that fall into my historical group (whereas the early Flemish Psalter [1m] has 1:16); and in the women's books the range from 1:3 to 1:26, the lowest ratio being in the books for the nun of Poissy (2fr) and for Jeanne d'Evreux as a widow (4fw), and the highest in the hours Jeanne received as a bride (3fm). I conclude that each was to remind the opposite sex of the dangers of illicit heterosexual activity, as also do a number of heterosexual grotesque couples that kiss or gaze into each other's eyes (figs. 4, 5, 6); the clawed feet and tail of the female grotesque, on the left, in fig. 6 are difficult to see because they are rubbed, but this couple has a significant position hovering outside the pasture where the shepherds hear of Christ's birth, and below the ragged beggar who received St. Martin's cloak.

Figure 3.11


Yet mere statistics hide important asymmetries: the immense phallic tails of many of the male grotesques allude to their sex in a particularly unappealing way, whereas female freaks are without such specific genital allusions, and some are quite sensual (figs. 2, 11, 29 cf. 1, 5, 8, 24).

Figure 3.29

There are no such crude images as the exhibiting sheela-na-gigs of earlier portals and rooflines, though female grotesques. may be given a genital mask or phallic tail in place of labia (figs. 8, 16). The predominant assumption seems to have been that educated men could resist temptation rationally, whereas women had to be frightened into abstinence.

Figure 3.8


Meanings accrued to the common motifs of the margins, in part by familiarity with external sources such as the bestiary and the fabliaux, and by intervisuality, a process of association and repetition of the images themselves. Lipton has used a similar method to understand the diabolic valence of cats in the Bible Moralisée.41 Some of the books studied here hold clues to reading freaks and beasts in the normal iconographies of the main pictures, and the expansion of my comparative base has aided in the project. The groupings represented in the tables were chosen with an agenda, so it will be well to lay out what the gendered associations are, and to discuss the terms I chose.

Figure 3.16

The tables cannot supply information on contexts and groupings on the page, though this information is imbedded in my notes. Positions on the page are significant, and when needed, the bottom of the page, or under-text, better describes a contemptuous situation like that of the misericord than does the borrowed French bas-de-page.


Some motifs are grouped together in the tables because they share a valence, even though in isolation they are multivalent. By fecundity, I mean pregnancy and birthing, as distinct from male fertility which is sowing the seed. The commonest symbol of fecundity is the hare or rabbit, often pursued by hounds; it is ubiquitous in the books for married people, but notably scarce or absent in the nuns' books. 42 Fecund metaphors include containers that allude to the womb, such as barrels, baskets, jugs, and vases. 43 Vas was sometimes even used as a synonym for woman, for instance by Hildegard of Bingen in the twelfth century (Cadden 1984, 178).

Figure 3.7

We have already encountered it in the Israel van Meckenem print from the end of the middle ages, discussed in the Introduction (Intro. fig. 1). In the Taymouth Hours, a most unusual prelude to the full Annunciation page opposite shows Mary asleep at her lectern in the Temple, being crowned by arms reaching down from heaven, and in the bottom of the page she stands to receive a jug offered by an angel so she does not have to worry about filling it from the well between them (fig. 7). The jug appears again as a metonymy for female sex in the bottom of the page where a hermit (Lechery) grabs hold of a harlot with a money bag, her vase behind her; over her door is a broom stick. A young kingly grotesque receiving a vase from a female with a lion's rump are presumably consenting to sex (fig. 8); perhaps she is like the voracious wife adapted from Ecclesiasticus 26: 12-15 by Gawain in the twelfth century: "A woman will receive all males: / No prick against her lust prevails. / For who could fill his spouse's spout?" 44 On one page of the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, a pitcher with a dragon emerging from it is depicted between two long-haired field workers, one stripped to the waist to wield a flail, the other holding a basket; the adjacent prayer addressed to Christ, terminating with the pitcher as a line filler, is Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem: non hortu isti virginis uterum (fig. 9).

Figure 3.9

Elsewhere, the womb-like shape of the spindle may connote the female sex, as in later prints, and it is more often used to beat foxes than for normal domestic activity; it is also wielded by grotesques. 45


Figure 3.14a

Figure 3.14b

Figure 3.14c


Figure 3.15

Lush flowers and foliage may be metaphorical fruit of the womb. Although I took care to count only gratuitous bushes, leafy tails, and leaf-masks, it is also notable that the Poissy Psalter, and the Breviaries of Blanche of France and of Jeanne d'Evreux, have much sparser foliage on the regular bar frames than the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, Jeanne de Navarre, or Yolande of Flanders (figs. 14, 15, and ch.4: 11-13 cf. 6, 11, 13, 17, 41, 44).

Figure 3.13

The Belleville Breviary is also restrained in its leafage, as befits monastic use (figs. 24-26). The leafy branch or rod in fact combines fertility with fecundity, as in the boughs carried by young men in the month of May, and the virga of the progenitor Jesse of which the flower was Jesus (Caviness 1993, figs. 24, 35).

Figure 4.11

Dense foliage frames Jeanne d'Evreux as she kneels at the Annunciation, praying for a male child (fig. 39). Yet this double resonance highlights once more the tension surrounding

Figure 4.12

the wish for sons and the condemnation of the redolent settings in which the lovers of the pastoral poems had sex; the month of May was forbidden for marriages for this very reason (Caviness 1993, 44).


Figure 4.13

Sexuality, frequently invoked by the handling of weapons or musical instruments, or by a variety of animals, should be distinguished from fertility and fecundity. Weapons, normally wielded by men, can be charged with sexuality as well as phallic power. Swords, spears, and arrows penetrate and are used metaphorically for the penis; the very word for a sheath or scabbard was vagina (Laqueur, 159). 46

Figure 3.24

Figure 3.25

In the Psalter of the infamous Louis le Hutin, a young male grotesque, with a lion's rump, unsheathes an enormous sword to run through a huge cat (fig. 10). If we consider that women were said to be predatory, this freak is "chasing pussy;" the adjacent line pleads for salvation from sin: "Deus meus eripe me de manu pecatoris" (Oh Lord deliver me from the hand of the sinner).

Figure 3.26

Jesus, the author of Ecclesiasticus, uses arrow and quiver metaphorically in his chapter on good and bad women: A rebellious daughter will "open her quiver against every arrow" (26:15). 47 Elsewhere, bludgeoning weapons - clubs and farm implements, such as rakes - are low-life parodies of knightly arms, yet nonetheless phallic in shape (fig. 9). 48

Figure 3.10

Figure 3.9


Figure 3.1

Musical instruments could also invoke sexuality for a medieval audience. Wind instruments like flutes and bagpipes were seen to resemble male genitalia, stringed instruments had the curving body of a woman to be played, and percussion instruments like drums were to be "banged," while cymbals and bells kept erotic rhythms

Figure 3.3

(figs. 1-3, 8, 15-17, 20, 30-33, 40; Winternitz; Gagné in Roy, 83-107; Caviness, 1993, 49-50).

Figure 3.33

49 On the hand rest of a choir stall in Oviedo Cathedral razorback pigs mate to the sounds of a bagpipe, and a north European pilgrim's badge displays an aroused razorback boar playing his own pipes.

Figure 3.20

50 In the rough music of the margins, bellows may also be enlisted to resonate like bagpipes, so I tabulated them together.

Figure 3.31

Textual sources also indicate that bellows were a euphemism for male genitalia (Caviness 1993, 49). 51

Figure 3.32

According to one source, women who liked such music and dance were likely to be pregnant with a daughter, not an outcome desired by the brides studied here (Jeay in Roy, 150).

Figure 3.30

And as part of a raucous shivaree, perhaps with a different tune than the shepherds music that celebrates the Nativity, rough music could inspire terror; the famous representation of a shivaree in the Fauvel manuscript that is thought to have been made to chide Louis le Hutin for his lax sexual morals, shows drums and hand bells played by people in shaggy costumes who carry off souls in wheelbarrows (fig. 12).

Figure 3.12

52 The devils in the Taymouth Hours have drums and bagpipes (fig. 27).

Figure 3.27

Another bag-piping devil is in the company of an archer with Pan pipes (Camille, 315-316, fig. 169). 53 The most sinister-looking instrument is the horse's jaw, recalling on one hand the ass's jaw that Cain used to kill Abel, and associated in many communities with the apotropaic rites of shivaree (figs. 13, 14; Rey-Flaud, 7-68). 54 Winternitz summed up the musical imagery in plays and church decorations of the period as "foaming with sin and sex," adding: "The sacred and the profane, even the vulgar, meet as close neighbours ... and the demons of hell, together with other fantastic creatures, are permitted to perform even under the watchtowers of the cathedrals" (Winternitz, 129).

Figure 3.40


Among beasts, I refer to a rabbit or hare as a cony, invoking its own lasciviousness up front (con, usually cunt; coni in French; cunnus or cunniculus in Latin); pussy does the same for a cat. "Beasts" conveys their nature more than "animals." Beasts with horns (stags, goats, rams, unicorns, snails) are phallic, and so were stallions in medieval literature; in bestiaries and in shivaree they are lascivious (Caviness 1993, 40; Rey-Flaud, 38-41). 55 But as Sandler has shown from the fabliaux, the timid mouse withdrawing into its hole to avoid a voracious pussy might be likened to an unpredictable penis (but cf. fig. 10; Sandler, 1985, 157-159). The textual evidence she invoked to associate squirrels with female genitalia can be supplemented from the collection of Aristotle's bad beasts in a stained glass window of about 1300 from Esslingen (Swabia), where this nut-hunter figures among evil chimeras and grotesques (fig. 20; Becksmann, 16-17, 45-46). A small sculpted Virgin in the Houston Museum holds a squirrel on a tight leash, connoting her virginity, whereas a matronly grotesque with phallic tail clashing cymbals in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux is watched over by a squirrel devouring nuts (fig. 16). 56 And a seemingly pious nun or widow kneels before a bishop in the Psalter of Guy de Dampierre, skillfully hiding her wyvern's feet and a squirrel in a curl of her long tail (ff. 107v-108).

The under-text scenes of young women hunting in the Taymouth Hours (5fl) , labeled jeu de femes, are more likely allegorical than representational, since the Ménagier de Paris wrote that hawking as the only form of hunting admissible for women (Bornstein, 58). 57 The successful chase after a hare culminated with its being disemboweled on the page with the Visitation; this recalls the advice given in the late thirteenth-century treatise known as de Secretis Mulierum to drink a potion made from the intestines or testicles of a hare or rabbit in order to conceive a male child (Women's Secrets, 139). I believe this is also alluded to in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux on the Visitation page (fig. 3.17; Caviness, 1993, 42). There is the additional allusion to self-mutilation, the sinner plucking out the offending member; perhaps to this same end, further on in the Taymouth Hours , a young woman shoots at a squirrel (fig. 19).

Figure 3.19

A contemporary English Apocalypse manuscript now in New York, made for Isabelle of France (Table 1), allegorized the Woman clothed in the Sun as Holy Church in the desert, resisting carnal temptations in the form of a cony, a deer, an owl and another large bird. 58


When hounds hunt the cony, the pursuit can be read as sexual; lone rabbits, or rabbits in pairs, or even conies facing off hounds across the page, on the other hand may denote abstinence. 59 The clearest case is the treed hare in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, which is next to a leper, in the framed picture, and a woman fighting off a man, below the text (Caviness 1993, 45, fig. 22); this unnatural event validates a woman's avoidance of intercourse during menstruation lest she conceive a leprous child. In a similar topsy-turvy vein, a knight in the Psalter of Guy de Dampierre appears to be startled by a hare (fig. 18).

Figure 3.18


By far the commonest category of representation in the margins is the composite creature whose unnatural appearance would have immediately announced an aura of evil (Sandler 1996, 93). 60 In choosing terms for a variety of these creatures, once made light of as drôleries and now often classified as hybrids, I have deliberately selected the generic term freak and various other words that help to convey to a modern audience what I believe to have been medieval resonances: 61 The freak invokes anxiety by its unstable monstrous forms, freaking us out, as a psychologist demonstrated in 1980. 62 As a general term for imaginary creatures with serpentine tails and foxy heads, basilisk has the hiss of a serpent, lacking in dragon, which, however, I use for the kind with four feet and wings; 63 a wyvern has two feet but comes close to Lewis Carroll's "slithy tove;" 64 and a blindworm, the wingless variety (these from Grössinger, 137-38). All of these basilisks are chimeras, composites of bestial parts that constitute apocalyptic nightmares.

A person whose lower half - or more - is bestial, is a grotesque freak; a loose mantle often hides the seam, but grotesques exhibit an infinite variety, including secondary heads that I call genital masks or rump masks (figs. 8, 15 and ch. 4: 13, 17).

Figure 4.17

The hybrid lucust-horse with a human face described emerging from the bottomless pit in Revelation 9: 7-10 was interpreted as Antichrist. 65 Other composite hairy bodies and limbs are standard for representations of the devil. 66 Many have cloven hooves, also traditionally associated with devils. 67 Their tails also take a variety of forms, some resembling that of a horse, some sprouting into vine tendrils, some serpentine, some short and thick. Especially if curled forward between the hind legs, such appendages are reminders that the Latin term cauda also alluded to the penis (figs. 2, 16, 29; Randall, 1960, 33-35); it is thus redundant to say phallic tail. 68 Instead of ending with more or less developed tails, some grotesques emerge from a bar of the frame like herms (figs. 11, 13, 14; ch. 4: 6). Basilisks can be given human heads, and this proved an especially numerous category, noted as male or female basilisks. Sirens fall under the general category of the grotesque, and among them traditional mermaids are naked woman to the waist and fish below (fig. 32; there are no mermen in the books), whereas harpies (or sirens) have human heads and birds' bodies and feet (fig. 31). It is doubtful whether any of these Greco-Roman motifs were associated with ancient images by the northern book-owners, unless they knew of sirens from an illustrated romance of Troy. 69


Freaks figure insistently and insidiously in the negative spaces of these manuscripts, easing themselves into the fringes of each page where sacred words do not curtail their activities, and even into the line endings and the interiors of some large initials. A culture that believed in monstrous births, in freaks that lived on the edges of the world, and in a devil whose bodily form was a compendium of bestial parts, would read these horrid creatures as signs of the evil temptations that are put in the way of the straying eye. We may be amused by their uncomely forms and antics, but around 1300 only the most sophisticated theologian, or the most unrepentant heretic, could have truly laughed when they used these devotional books. In the twelfth century, St. Bernard had already turned Horace's notion that grotesques inspire laughter into an argument against their use in a place of contemplation. 70 And Albericus of London had warned clerics against marriage by providing a gloss on the chimera that associated it with lust; because it has "the head of a lion, the belly of a goat, and the tail of a serpent" it signifies the stages of desire, lechery, and guilt. 71 For Marbod, Bishop of Rennes in the first quarter of the twelfth century, the evils of sexual pleasure could be figured by a chimera that was part lion, part serpent, part woman. 72 Variants on the theme in the Romamesque crypt capitals of Canterbury Cathedral (which housed Benedictine monks in the middle ages) could serve as reminders of such warnings. On one capital a woman with cloven hooves for feet, wings, and a ram's head plays a fiddle while a dog-headed wyvern is ridden by a billy goat with human feet and a serpentine tail playing a horn. 73

The quotations are among textual sources that can be invoked to support my argument, but the case is most eloquently made within the images themselves. Intervisuality links these freaks to standard iconographies of the devil, in a quasi-rational way: The serpent who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden often appears in the form of a wyvern, a basilisk-like creature with a serpentine tail, wings, two short legs with clawed feet, and a foxy head with pointed ears, as in the English Huntingfield Psalter of about 1200, where it is called "la serpente" (fig. 21).

Figure 3.21

74 These creatures are ubiquitous (with or without wings) in the devotional books under consideration here, but it is easy to overlook them as they meld into the ivy that forms the lateral framing bars; they are on every page of the Poissy-St.-Louis Psalter, and nearly three hundred of them clamor round the edges of the text in the Breviary of Jeanne d'Evreux, clustering on the eve of each commemoration like evil omens (fig. 4: 14 & e.g. f. 282v). Such creatures also appeared on the edges of Gothic churches as apotropaic gargoyles (Camille, 77-85, fig. 38). Churchmen literally put them behind themselves when they leaned on their misericords, and Grössinger says quite bluntly that the dragon "always represented the serpent, the devil" (Grössinger, 137-38). The serpent cast into a fire by St. Paul at Malta, in a lower frame of the Belleville Breviary, takes the form of such a wingless basilisk (fig. 22).

Figure 3.22

And the scourge of death and famine in a contemporary Apocalypse illustration is a dragon (fig. 23).

Figure 3.23


The Belleville Breviary provides another canonical representation of the serpent in Eden, this time as half woman, half wingless basilisk; her baby face and sensual nude body mirrors Eve as they gaze into each other's eyes; at the top of the page a two-headed wyvern with bat's wings gapes hungrily at the ivy (fig. 24). Here is the iconographic clue to the female grotesque, variously clad and armed with musical instruments, mirrors, and combs (figs. 8, 16, 25), or in league with the devil as Absalom is caught by his hair to the refrain of Psalm 52: Dixit insipiens in corde suo: non est Deus. Corrupti sunt et ab hominabiles facti sunt in ininvitatibus: non est qui faciet bonum (The Fool said in his heart: There is no God. They are corrupted and become abominable in iniquities: there is none that doth good) (fig. 26).

Figure 3.26

Other common attributes of the devil include bat's wings, horns, cloven hoofs or clawed feet, shaggy hair, and genital masks. A range of these can be seen in the Taymouth Hours introducing the theme of "peines que tut tens dure" (eternal suffering) that attends on damnation. At the Second Coming of Christ, the Virgin Mary prays for souls and presents the owner(s) to Christ (f. 139). The demonic shivaree begins with rough music - bagpipe, drums, and flute (fig. 27)

Figure 3.27

- as devils capture their sinning human prey and carry them off to a hell mouth, their torments spilling over several more pages (ff. 139v-151). The sex of the nude sinners is not always apparent, but a goat-headed demon riding a naked woman, who goes on all fours in a saddle and bridle, commands his mount "avant letcheur avant" (giddy-up letcher). One of the tormentors has human hands and calves, a hairy body with a human face in place of belly and genitals, bats' wings, a beaked head, and long cony ears (fig. 28).

Figure 3.28

This apparition has relatives in the margins of other books, such as the monstrous "bird" with hooked beak that makes a frequent appearance in the Psalter of Louis le Hutin (fig. 29).

Figure 3.29


Warnings against female nature are more numerous in the men's books studied here than in the women's. A mermaid with an oddly shark-like tail plays a fiddle while a youthful grotesque dances and claps in the Psalter of Louis le Hutin and Queen Marguerite (fig. 30).

Figure 3.30

In the Psalter of Guy de Dampierre, Herod orders the beheading of John the Baptist which takes place before him in the initial of Psalm 26. He is precariously balanced on the tip of a woman-headed basilisk's tail that frames the lower half of the page, and this Eve-il lifts Salome up on its head so that she can petition Herod for John's head, echoing verse 2: "Whilst the wicked draw near against me, to eat my flesh" (fig. 31) .

Figure 3.31

Another wily maiden, her curled hair in a fashionable net, her skirt hitched up for the dance, lurks in a twist of the tail and plays a lyre. Elsewhere, a mermaid with the same hairdo holds a long trumpet to her mouth while a youth baits a ram in the bottom of the page, creating a double image of sexual provocation (fig. 32).

Figure 3.32

And a female grotesque, whose serpent tail is bitten by a wyvern and itself ends in a snapping head, uses Salome's gesture to conduct a youth/wyvern on the bagpipes (fig. 33).

Figure 3.33

In such hands, the trumpet and bagpipes no doubt connote the arousal of the male sexual organs, and its dangers; the foliate tails are redolent with fecundity.

The Peterborough Psalter, made for an Abbot, is even more replete with warnings about the female sex (3me). Women/wyverns, in more or less fashionable coifs (including the netted bob), invade the text, alongside basilisks and chimeras, to operate like end-stops, repelling the eye of the reader into the next line of script (fig. 34);

Figure 3.34

good men conversing with God shelter in the Psalm initials. Psalm 26 has David, the shepherd boy with his crook, anointed king in the initial (enhanced by fleur-de-lys in the ground) (fig. 35); the fantasies a monk would have been taught to fear come alive in the margins, where (bottom right) a shepherdess crouches in the foliage to make a wreath to slip on her lover's "head," while one of his co-workers entrances the sheepdog with his Orpheus pipes (no one minds the sheep); another maiden of the pasturelle, with a familiar hairdo, gathers roses in a basket (no St. Dorothy she).

Figure 3.35

Medieval centaurs, imprisoned in the frame like thwarted fantasies, engage in futile jousting, longing to plunge their spears into flesh, to use a metaphor of "love" poetry (Caviness 1993, 47). Above David, another fellow plays a trumpet for grotesque strumpets to dance or to take the male part in tapping on drums and tambourine (Caviness 1993, 49-50 ). One in the center dangles a huge webbed bird foot, like the later Frau Welt in Munich (fig. 42). A tipsy woman holding onto two flourishing vines sways to the music (on the right), but her precarious equilibrium is threatened by a crude worker who hacks at her trellis with an axe. And finally, to "come" full circle, another lout (in too-short tunic and with a crude profile) aims the quarrel in his crossbow at the untended sheep. Here is Mis(s)rule with a vengeance, the chivalric daydream turned into a cleric's nightmare. 75 Bad enough for the Abbot of Crowland, but destined to feed the terror of Clemence of Hungary after the loss of her husband and her infant son.


Widowed as a teenager, Clemence of Hungary was asked to collude with the view cogently expressed in the illustration to the last verse of Psalm 50, that men in love are lambs to the slaughter (fig. 36):

Figure 3.36

76 Enhanced by a fleur-de-lys ground, a young man passes cherries down to his lady who fills her skirt with them; this allusion to the missionary position for begetting offspring also validates male innocence through a variant of the marriage debt argument ("she wanted it"), yet it is parodied in the mirror half of the composition by a timid ape, treed by a ferocious bear (no doubt a female). 77 In the Psalter of Louis le Hutin, a man prays to an ape with a mirror and comb, though pentimenti show the ape replaced a woman with fluttering veils (fig. 37).

Figure 3.37

Other ironic love scenes in the Peterborough Psalter include the storming of the castle of chastity (f. 91v), a young man with a large sword and a falcon kissing a maiden with the netted hairdo while his horse paws the ground and looks knowingly at the groom (f. 72v), and a hound followed by a youth with rod (virga) and horn at the ready, putting up a hare while the burrows on the hillside come alive with a dog and cony, and a cat (or fox) and mouse (fig. 38).

Figure 3.38

Glossed by secular texts, these allude to men chasing pussy (con) and rapacious women lying in wait to swallow the timid male member (Caviness 1993, 42, 44, 48), but to a cleric they would connote in addition the bestiality of sexual appetites. Jeanne d'Evreux, praying to the Virgin Annunciate, rises above an arousing party game that uses an ape (in the foliage, left) and a cony and mouse (emerging below the couple) playing blindman's buff (fig. 39).

Figure 3.39


The female freak was a more evident way of providing an evil aura, for women readers as well as men. Diabolic traits are found in new grotesque combinations surrounding the scene of King Saul threatening David in the Belleville Breviary: Just outside Saul's chamber, a flame-haired, bat-winged creature playing a pipe hangs by its tail, exposing a hairy back and cloven hind feet (fig. 40). Below it is a woman with her eyes veiled, playing a crude stringed instrument, her fluttering mantle revealing hairy legs, cloven hooves, and a circinate tail. To the right of the frame a hooded jester with bagpipes perches on the shoulders of a fox-headed wyvern. All seem to signal the temptations to which Saul has succumbed. Such freaks are rationally ordered and labeled in Ambroggio Lorenzetti's fresco of the Rule of Tyranny (bad government) in Siena two decades later, where Avarice is a woman with bat's wings, Treason (Proditio) holds a lamb with a serpent tail, and Fury is a black dog with a male human torso and a boar's head. 78 In the northern manuscripts, the vices are more wild and insidious. Yet the (presumably male) owner of a psalter, made in Picardy abut 1290, added specific women's names to some figures that consort with chimeras, as if to bring home their "reality;" one such pair, for instance, are labeled "me demiselle de Chuingnolles et Agnes se suer" and a "me dame de Morvel" dances to a musical chimera (MS lat 10435, ff. 38v & 24; Porcher 35-6).

It is less immediately evident why the Annunciation and Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Announcement to the Shepherds should so often be hemmed in by grotesques and chimeras. The Adoration in the Hours of Jeanne de Navarre, for instance, shows the queen kneeling outside and below the double frame of the icon, ardently praying yet in danger of being distracted by a leaping grotesque with large cat-like ears and a bishop's miter (fig. 41).

Figure 3.41

Its frontal face has a bestial quality, like that of a demon in the Taymouth Hours, or the giant cat in the Psalter of Louis le Hutin and Marguerite of Bourgogne (cf. figs. 10 & 27). In the left frame a horrid male grotesque hovers over the scene, as if adding its pitcher to the Magi's gifts; its oddly draped head and scrawny torso disappear into a wrap that reveals one cloven hoof and one ungainly eagle's leg and claw. A bearded herm above points and holds a scroll; he may be a prophet. An internal clue as to the mood of these hybrids is given by the groom just behind the queen who raises his whip to beat back the Magi's horses, confining them to a cramped stable; they are the sins of passion she turns her back on (Caviness 1993, 44). From another place and time, a drawing of the Seven Deadly Sins or the Personification of Worldliness (so-called Frau Welt) in a Bavarian Biblia Pauperum , dated 1414, combines some of these elements into a female grotesque (fig. 42);

Figure 3.42

she has one huge eagle foot, a money bag labeled Avarice at her waist above which rear the heads of Rage and Envy (a wolf and a dog), and she offers tumbler which labels her as Gluttony (Gula). Bat's wings and a crown of peacock's feathers for Pride complete her costume, and her second leg is a basilisk's head (Death) that gnaws at her bird-leg (Life). This later figure is more complex than any in the earlier manuscripts, yet as Saxl and Evans have suggested it depends on fourteenth-century motifs; the degree to which it has been systematized and labeled sheds valuable light on the seemingly casual creatures of mid-fourteenth-century. 79 About the same time Martin Schongauer assembled all kinds of hybrids to tempt St. Anthony to "sins of the flesh," fixing the erotic as the imaginary field for these deformities in the western European eye in later periods, as demonstrated by Lo Duca in his study of the Erotik in der Kunst .80


Given the build-up of evil and menacing symbols on this page in the Hours of Jeanne de Navarre, even the prophet-herm above the text may be construed as a Jew excluded from the era under grace (fig. 41; Hassig fig. 15). The earlier Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux is more straightforward, in its inclusion of the groom and horses in the initial, the occurrence of the Massacre of the Innocents in the bas-de-page, and a cat-headed ape-devil inspiring its evil instigator, King Herod (fig. 43).

Figure 3.43

It is as if this terrifying event is presaged in the Hours of Jeanne de Navarre by the grotesques. The joyful events of the Christmas season are thus fraught with tension in these women's prayer books, a mood that is heightened in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux by the use of penitential gray for the figures (including the Crucifixion on the facing page). These great feasts were times of extended abstinence for good married couples, a context that recasts the freaks as temptations of the flesh. 81 Jeanne de Navarre is suspended in the margins between the Virgin nursing the Christ Child in the manger and a young woman nursing in the bottom of the page who is somehow associated with a bearded grotesque carrying another infant (fig. 44).

Figure 3.44

A boy perched on a wyvern's tail releases a squirrel above, and someone rides a grotesque backwards, a single mantle enveloping rider and mount. 82 Jeanne's meditative isolation denotes abstinence rather than joy: intercourse was forbidden to nursing mothers, and they were expected to feed an infant for two years.


Even representations of freaks were hazardous to women who gazed on them, according to the Dominican author of Women's Secrets (115-116):

"Galen tells us in his Book on Sperm that sometimes a constellation of an animal influences the human seed that has been placed in the mother's womb and causes a man to be generated with the head of a cow, a pig, or another brute animal. The opposite can also occur; a human constellation influences the seed of an animal, and as a result an animal with a man's head is generated. ... A monster of this type can also be caused by a special action of the imaginative power of a woman who is having coitus. It is possible that when such a figure springs to mind the fetus will be disposed in accordance with it. Thus Galen did not allow such figures to be painted in places where men and women usually have sexual intercourse, such as bedrooms, etc."

Presumably there was no real threat from the freaks in the Books of Hours, because they were not for use in the bedroom; as mentioned above, the possibility for prayer was suspended during intercourse. But this piece of lore serves to associate freaks with women, and to give them responsibility for abnormal births. 83

A modern psychiatrist also associated grotesques with female disorders. Fenichel first recounted a patient history involving such mental images in 1935: 84

"In our patient's associations there constantly recurred the fairytale of the stone prince in the Arabian Nights. Over and over again in her dreams and fantasies figures of men appeared which had their prototype in this tale. The upper part of their bodies was ordinary and familiar, perhaps that of her father, while the lower part was somehow uncanny, being rigid or like that of an animal. The man with the belly of stone signified to her the man with the belly of a beast--in fact, a centaur; a counterpart was the Little Mermaid from Hans Andersen's story, who had a fish's tail instead of legs; a figure which also played a great part in her fantasy. The purpose of these fantasies was simply to repress or psychically to master her observations of the genitals of adults in childhood."

His classic interpretation would be as valid (or invalid) for Jeanne d'Evreux in 1324 or Jeanne II de Navarre in the 1340s, as it was for his modern patient. In both cases the fantasies/ night mares had been supplied by male authors or artists -- by the anonymous medieval authors of the Arabian Nights and Hans Andersen, by Jean Pucelle and Jean le Noir. Audience reaction may well have confirmed to the confessors who devised and monitored the marginalia for these women's books that the freaks were doing their work of preying on the mind, just as Fenichel learned from his patient that the fairy tales had hit their mark. The anecdote in the Women's Secrets would make it the more imperative to offer these medieval women the means of resistance to the powerful fantasies ascribed to them.

Ancient and Early Medieval Theories of Sex/Gender Difference:

In their fundamental survey of medieval medical views of sexuality, Jacquart and Thomasset concluded that the discourses of medicine and theology maintained a separateness that at times appeared contradictory, even in the specifics of biological sex difference (193-197). As I will show here, this is even the case in formulations by the same individual, whether Aristotle writing on biology and sociology, or Hildegard of Bingen writing on medicine and theology. Thus sexual difference was not perceived as a fixed basis for bipolar gender difference. Bynum has argued vehemently against popular modern notions of "medieval" dualities -- body/mind, male/female etc. -- enlisting some recent studies to declare "how polymorphous are medieval uses of gender categories and images" (Bynum, 12-16). In a review article, Murray also gave a demonstration of writings by even such major figures as Robert Grosseteste that departed from a "discourse of mysogyny" that we have too easily accepted as dominant.

Understanding of the two ancient models for biological generation that were pervasive in the pre-Enlightenment period has advanced in the 1990s. 85 Galen had posited that fetuses developed uniform genitalia, which either developed into the external male organs of penis and testicles, or remained inside the body to become the birth canal, uterus and ovaries, whereas Aristotle supposed that a female fetus had not developed fully (=into a perfect male) because of a lack of complexional heat (Park & Nye, 54). A popular re-telling of the Aristotelian account by a Dominican toward the end of the thirteenth century, in a treatise known as De secretis mulierum, merely added a few techniques to manipulate nature into producing a male child, and acknowledged that sexual differentiation existed on a continuum so that a child might be born whose sex was questionable (Women's Secrets, 117); in this case, it should be called male since this is the greater dignity (the same argument had been invoked by Thierry of Chartres to justify the supposition that the First and Second Persons of the Trinity should be given the male titles of Father and Son); 86 as in Stoller's account from the 1960s, discussed in the Introduction, there was a compulsion to declare sex/gender identity at birth. Given that the Christian cult, like some of the ancient Greek cults, denied carnal generation and normal fertility to its sacred figures, and severely repressed sexuality in its worshipers, we might not have expected the birth of a neuter being to have been met with such anxiety. Only an over-riding heterosexual imperative can explain that anxiety.

To a degree that might surprise many contemporary theorists, ancient and medieval writers had formulated goals for the construction of gender, which they assumed took place through education. 87 In particular, Gleason and Ferrari have recently recognized that gender in ancient Greek culture was not only regarded as a social construction, but it was also understood as multivalent, especially rich in a plurality of masculinities. This plurality has been recognized in the eleventh-century Bayeux Embroidery (ch. 2 above).

In conformity with Greek myths of origin that separated the "race of women" from mankind, Aristotle placed considerable emphasis on "natural" differences between men and women. 88 Yet he also made a case for conscious social control of the sexes through gender construction, in The Art of Rhetoric , as well as in The Politics quoted in the epigraph above. 89 In a passage from Rhetoric I. v. 5-6, examined by Ferrari, he first listed the ideal qualities that young males and females should attain: they should both present "bodily excellences" in stature and beauty, but in addition the young man should have strength and athletic ability; each should have moral fiber (self-control), but the male needs courage in addition; and the youth who attains "manliness" (a)ndrei/a) is to be distinguished from the girl who should show "a love of menial tasks (filergi/a), although not slavish in outlook." Ferrari notes the dissymmetry by which femininity is not a quality to be formed, whereas masculinity is attained by some men (Ferrari, 181-82). Yet Aristotle surprises the reader, who is prepared for the privileging of Greek boys in their education to be leaders, by emphasizing the political importance of forming women to a suitable mold: "for all those States in which the character of women is unsatisfactory, as in Lacedaemon, may be considered only half-happy." Also in The Politics , quoted at the beginning of this chapter, only the unsatisfactory character in women is directly mentioned for its contribution to the unhappiness of the body politic. And he returned to the issue, charging that "the looseness of the Spartan women is injurious both to the purpose of the constitution and the well-being of the State . . . their life is one of absolute luxury and intemperance" (Politics II, 9)

One might suppose from this statement that gender construction in fourth-century BC Greece was slanted toward the control of women, without which there would have been a lack of happiness. The particular menial task mentioned as appropriate for women was surely working wool, as frequently represented on vases and in myths, whereas speech, the right to speak out, and war were all part of manliness; Ferrari has stressed the gender-linked attributes of wool, basket, and shield that are commonly developed in Greek literature (Ferrari, 183). What seems crucial in Aristotle's model of gender construction is the difference between forming the right attitude on the part of the young woman, and teaching the young man the skills that will give him domination. The risk of failure lies in the belief that being female, with all its concomitant dangers, is linked to biological sex regardless of learned attitudes, whereas a male without manliness is not a man, and by definition harmless since he lacks the means to dominate others. In The Politics (also quoted above), Aristotle made clear how unequal in virtue he in fact considered "real" men and women to be, since one is a ruler and the other a servant.

In 1990, Gleason's analysis of attitudes pertaining in the second century of the Common Era had (also) emphasized the extent to which "male" and "female" character traits and physiognomies were independent of anatomical sex: "Masculinity in the ancient world was an achieved state, radically undetermined by anatomical sex" (Gleason, 391). She found that in theory a physiognomist and rhetorician, Polemo, described men and women as polar opposites, yet he allowed that most people are mixed, and that judgement as to their gender identity had to rest on discernment as to which set of descriptors "prevails over the other" (391-392). According to others, such a mix could be ideal; a physician, Loxus, saw "masculine courage" and "feminine wisdom" as necessary to good character. Yet Suetonius cautioned against men with effeminate behaviors that he attributed to a particular accident of conception, which in all cases involved the mixing of male and female seed from both parents (394); his account relies on biological determination, but allows for a multiplicity of genders. This is not the place to review all the variants Gleason found in this extensive literature, but it is notable that the discourse of gender determination virtually excluded "women," except by reference to their disembodied "feminine" characteristics when they were possessed by men.

For a second-century Christian, Clement of Alexandria, grooming, comportment, and gesture were part of a system of signs connoting masculinities. His semiotic system depends on earlier sources, but the new Christian moral viewpoint proscribes appearances that masquerade as something other than "natural" gender identity; for instance, since women are by nature smooth and men hirsute, men must not depilate themselves. Such signs must not be tampered with because to do so would undermine "the symbolic language in which male privilege was written" (Gleason, 401-402). This symbolic language or gender-sign system accorded with the biblical condemnation of cross-dressing: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God" ( Deuteronomy 22: 5).

Yet Christianity did not uniformly enforce gender polarity, either on the grounds of this proscription of cross-dressing, or the hierarchy essentialized in the account of the Creation and Fall. A premise that might be called "no sex, no gender" allowed special status to virgin men and women as if they were outside an enforced binary system, theologically justified as pre-lapsarian. The valuation of virginity in women had probably been established in pre-Christian northern Europe, if we accept as evidence the sixth or seventh century execution by live burial of a pregnant rape victim, reported by archeologists in England. 90 An eleventh-century Norman poem refers to that punishment as an ancient (Roman) one. 91 The church father St. Jerome allowed celibate women to cross the gender barrier: "As long as woman is for birth and children, she is different from man as body is from soul. But when she wishes to serve Christ more than the world, then she will cease to be a woman, and will be called man." 92 His and others' association of the first syllable of virgo (virgin) with vir (man), virago (warrior), and virtus (virtue) has been noted in chapter 1. Notions of women becoming male through virtue were widespread, even beyond Christian circles, in late antiquity, giving rise to a "religiously grounded gender ambiguity," a "destabilization of gender identity in the history of a tradition usually seen to cast gender in fairly fixed and dualistic terms" (Castelli, 29, 47). 93 It is some kind of historical touchstone that Castelli's essay on late antiquity is the only one that referred to medieval Christian culture in a collection that is concerned with gender ambiguity through history; consideration might have been given to the early middle ages, through the twelfth century.

Especially in early monasticism, which eliminated considerations of reproductive difference, men and women might be viewed as equals (though distinguished by head-covering). And in northern Europe, biblical and Classical gynephobia was tempered by less essentialist assessments of the power of women. 94 Hildegard of Bingen, who grew up in a relatively recently Christianized land (and probably superficially so in terms of lay practices of medicine and magic), and with an unsystematic schooling that would not have included the new wave of Aristotelianism that reached the French schools in the mid-twelfth-century, articulated remarkable ideas concerning the fluidity of sex/gender differences. For the most part, these are contained in her book on general medicine known as Causae et curae , whence they have been culled by Cadden (1984; 1993, 75-88). Though certain fundamental differences between men and women stemmed from the creation, they did not always act in men's favor in Hildegard's account: Adam, created from clay takes his nature from this hard and strong material, whereas Eve is as soft and weak as the marrow she is formed from, but this made her sin more susceptible to correction than Adam's would have been had he sinned first (Cadden 1984, 153). And whereas man's labor, like his creation, involves essential transformation (bringing fruit from the earth), women rework materials (as Eve was reworked from Adam) by practicing crafts (154). 95 This leaves open the possibility of greater artistic creativity in women's work. And Hildegard reversed her metaphor later by giving women's sexual desire the creative function previously ascribed to men: "Pleasure in a woman is comparable to the sun, which gently, calmly, and continuously spreads the earth with its heat, so that it may bring forth fruit" (quoted by Cadden, 1984, 158). Men's sexual desire is stronger and more violent or "stormy." 96

In Hildegard's account, biological male/female difference intersected with the ancient notion of the four temperaments such that each sex varied according to the dominance of one or other of the four temperaments, and yet further variations occurred in the offspring of each type of man (Cadden 1984, 160-165). Although she was attentive to the presence of traits of the other sex, whether physiological (phlegmatic women grow beards) or characterological (sanguine men are prudent and continent like women), which suggests she had some abstract concept of "manly" and "womanly," she did not invoke these to define gender polarity. Furthermore, Hildegard inverted the normal medieval attitude that ascribed greater lust to women; choleric men were especially incapable of restraint, and would resort to copulating with dead things if thwarted. She also noted each personality type's capacity for (non-sexual) relationships with men and women. As well as the temperament of the father, and the strength of his seed, the degree of righteous love (caritas) felt by each parent for the other would have an impact on the sex and character of their offspring: in the best conditions they would have a prudent virtuous boy, but if the woman did not love the man their son would not be virtuous, and more failings would result in the birth of girls, etc. (Cadden 1984,155). Hildegard's "system" has much of the fluidity and inconsistency of Mead's attempt to dissolve the links between sexual difference and personality types as discussed in the next chapter; and neither had much immediate impact.

Sex/Gender Constructs in the High Middle Ages

As noted above, the compulsion to construct two genders did not originate in theological or biological discourse, and it was not a constant (Cadden 1993, ch. 4). It seems however to have gained strength in the high middle ages --- in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries -- and might be the force that eventually drove the medical community to naturalize a polar two-sex system. Laqueur concluded that "historically, differentiations of gender preceded differentiations of sex" (62), but Park and Nye have indicated that the watershed was not as clear as he claimed (54-55). Cadden's more detailed analysis indicated that "medical and scientific ideas about sex were integrated with gender constructs" and that there was a "cultural assumption that the integration was appropriate, requiring no explanation or justification" (Cadden 1993, 173). Rigid definitions of gender provided one of the methods by which women were subjugated, and my claim here is that their most familiar and intimate books were co-opted by the processes of gender ideology. The "Aristotelian revolution" has been blamed for the thirteenth-century configuration of male and female as essentially different. Indeed, The Politics of Aristotle was widely known in western Europe by the middle of the thirteenth century through the Latin translation of William of Moerbeke (Politics, 299); and by that time his various writings dominated the curriculum in the universities, according to Allen (Allen, 441-444). But why did his ideas find such a ready audience? Causality is no doubt unrecoverable here, but it will be useful to glimpse the ways in which different discourses collude in subverting the power of women. 97

In the high middle ages, some specific instances can demonstrate historical change within theological discourse. In the twelfth century, sapiential theology had allowed wisdom to be feminine. 98 And there were even female representations of the Holy Spirit. 99 Perhaps such notions inspired at least two women around 1300 to identify with the Holy Spirit, for which they were burned as heretics. 100 Bynum has shown that in the twelfth century both Christ and good abbots were called mothers, appropriating women's "natural" goodness; 101 even Aristotle had proclaimed women to be naturally more charitable than men (Allen, 118). There were also negative images of men: in an Anglo-Saxon manuscript of Prudentius's Psychomachaea, a male Discordia attempts to disrupt a group of female virtues. 102 And in the late twelfth century, the Abbess of Hohenberg, Herad of Landesburg, depicted virtues as women warriors and vices as men with demons at their ears, in a collection for the instruction of her nuns, the Hortus Deliciarum .103 So too, Hildegard in her Odo Virtutem gave female voices to the virtues, but a lone male voice represents the devil. 104

Much has been written about the "power" of a few famous twelfth-century women, appreciated in modern times for their writings of for their political careers: figures such as Heloise, Hildegard of Bingen, Marie de France, Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and even Agnes of Braine have been recovered for history. 105 Those who had agency in the secular sphere too were still empowered by laws of inheritance, by their religious standing, and by education. 106 Yet regional differences played a role. The diminution of the status of women in late eleventh-century England, charted in chapter two, appears in retrospect as a harbinger of a general tendency to exclude women from the reality and the textualization of history. From the thirteenth century on, there were to be virtually no more women warriors until Joan of Arc; and she was burned in 1456 because she reneged on a vow that the bishops had extorted from her, to renounce her male clothing and hair cut (Feinberg, 31-37). 107

Other indices of change include the shift, around 1200, to agnatic inheritance, which benefited the eldest son on the death of his father, at the expense of his siblings. 108 Their widowed mothers had the right to substantial dower properties for life, but these were sometimes contested by their sons or nephews. 109 When a remarkable Castilian woman, Louis IX's mother Blanche, successfully ruled as his regent during his minority, Matthew of Paris called her "a woman in sex but a man in counsels, one worthy to be compared with Semiramis." 110 St. Louis' great-niece Mahaut of Artois, who ruled the duchy she had inherited from her father after she was widowed in 1303, was able to defend her properties against her nephew by raising an army, although by then women were generally forbidden by law to serve as military commanders or even to maintain ownership of castles. 111 But her nephew renewed his claim to her lands with each new king, always challenging the decisions in her favor, until her death in 1329. The new ban on female inheritance in England and France was a topic for an extraordinary romance poem of the late thirteenth century, Le Roman de Silence , in which the daughter of an English count and countess is raised as a boy, Scilentius, and the king eventually retracts his ban so that she can inherit title and lands as Scilentia. 112 This ingenious work demonstrates once more -- as many earlier reports had done -- that gender is a matter of cultural signs; a political reading would see it as a challenge to agnatic edicts. Yet no queens succeeded to the thrones of Europe in the high and late middle ages. 113 Sustained warfare throughout this period was surely one of the conditions favoring a polarized gender structure that empowered men - from the Seventh and Eighth Crusades that began in 1248 and 1270, through the Hundred Years War that devastated France and impoverished England (1337 - 1453), armies were constantly on the move in Europe. As Shakespeare's Patroclus voiced the concerns of Elizabethan/Trojan military leaders:

A woman impudent and mannish grown
Is not more loath'd than an effeminate man
In time of action. . . . 114

Allen, on the other hand, has emphasized changes in canon law that had already begun, around 1200, to erode women's position in the church, for instance, forbidding them to handle sacred objects of the altar (as pious widows associated with the Premonstratensians seem to have done) or carrying the Eucharist to the sick (as the Beguines might have done). A decretal issued by Pope Innocent III in 1210 (and reaffirmed by Gregory IX in 1234) required abbesses to desist from blessing their nuns in the manner of priests, and from hearing nuns' confessions; nor were they to preach or read the Gospels in public (Allen, 441). Small wonder the case for Hildegard's canonization did not meet with success at the Vatican in 1227, since she would have been a role model to invite infringement of all these new proscriptions. 115 Nor were the non-gendered, androgynous, and effeminate icons of the Godhead that she created in the illustrations to her Scivias copied as a series for circulation beyond Rupertsberg Abbey. 116 Monastic houses for women were also deprived of funds because they were no longer permitted to administer themselves; their plight was especially dire in France in the thirteenth century when the great cathedrals of Our Lady were being built. 117 And, at the same time, women were cut off from the best education, which now took place in these cathedral schools rather than in the abbeys. 118

In the same period, theologians debated the role of sexuality in marital union. Whereas, in the twelfth century, Hugh of St. Victor and Peter Lombard had claimed that spiritual union was far superior to the carnal variety, and that sexuality even detracted from marriage, in the next century Gratian's integration of sexuality into marriage was more widely accepted. Thomas Aquinas eventually acknowledged that bodily union was essential to the sacrament of marriage, in that it accommodated the natural wish for children. In reviewing this situation, Gold made the claim that this Thomist acceptance of the body as good inflected not only general representational codes (she cites greater naturalism in sculpture and painting), but also "the frank and humorous illustrations of sexuality both in manuscript marginalia and in the popular fabliaux."119 I contend that the latter are signs more of anxiety than of liberation, within an increasingly complex discourse of sexuality (cf. also Elliott). By the thirteenth century, the canonists had classified sexual sins under the general rubric of fornication in an upward spiral of heinousness, from sex between unmarried persons, to bigamy, to adultery, to incest, and, worst of all, to "unnatural" acts, whether heterosexual or homosexual. 120 Moralists recounted numerous variants of a cautionary tale in which a couple who defiled holy places with copulation were punished by being stuck together; in the thirteenth and fourteenth-century variants they are usually wed to each other, highlighting the dangers of sinning in marriage (Elliott, 6-14). 121 Theoretically, husbands were held as accountable as wives in cases of adultery, but the legal status of children born of such unions was a slippery problem. And the possibility of an unfaithful wife tainting the blood lines of her husband's family loomed far larger than the problematic legal status of acknowledged illegitimate offspring. The role of virtuous women in patrilineal descent was emphasized in the new public iconography of the Tree of Jesse, in which the Virgin took her place among the kings of Judaea as an ancestor of Christ. 122 The corollary was that mothers no longer appeared alongside fathers in these patrilineal schemas; only women who conceived without sexual union were counted as ancestors in the discourse of Christianity. 123 Married couples, meanwhile, were increasingly pressured to sexual continence, at the peril of having sickly or monstrous children; they should not consummate their marriage for the first three nights, nor have sex on the eve of Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and holy days, nor during the forty days before Easter, Holy Cross day (in September) and Christmas, nor in the three months before a birth and forty days after; I have calculated three nights without sex to each one with conjugal freedom in a year without the birth of a child (Caviness 1993, 43-44). 124

As if to offset their exclusion from the cathedral schools, women at this time were supplied with a specialized genre of instructional books; there was a virtual industry of writing behavior manuals, many of them for girls (Bornstein; Hentsch; Nicholls; Orme). 125 Holladay reviewed much of this material in connection with the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux (Holladay, 599-603). 126 From at least the twelfth century on, some such manuals seem to have answered the need for a vehicle for the kind of gender construction posited by Aristotle, whereby women are to be contained and controlled. One of the first treatises of this kind is a long poem in French written about 1174-78 by Etienne de Fougères, bishop of Rennes and one-time chaplain to Henry II (Etienne, pp. 13-22). His Livre des Manières rails against the bad behaviors of the clergy whose job it was to pray, the knights who must defend and protect, and the peasants who must work, all of whom are understood to be men (v. 169). 127 Women follow (the classic fourth estate), and their sins are elaborated at great length (vv. 244-281) before the topic of good women is broached (vv. 282-313); and even there, two verses are given to recalling women's role in the Fall of mankind. Etienne ends with a long exhortation not to attach importance to a beautiful body that will rot in death (vv. 307-312), and his final section, before the litany of saints, culminates in a graphic description of women in hell, their breasts suckled by toads and serpents (vv. 326-27). He titillates the reader with the bad ways of aristocratic women, including adulterous love that led them either to taint their husband's blood line or to abort the fetus, and lesbian acts that he describes as jousting shied to shield without a lance, and as one woman playing the hen the other the cock (vv. 277-281), sexual metaphors that resonate with later marginal motifs. Another form of moral guidance that emphasized the potentially bad ways of women was the illustrated Manuel des péchés , of which an exemplar made for an English noblewoman in the late thirteenth century is now in Princeton. 128

More usually, it was only men who were to be guided in the development of skills including rhetoric and moral discrimination (Orme, 84-98). But some manuals were written for secular rulers who were unlikely to be educated in the schools, and these might include women. For instance, about 1240, Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln, wrote very practical instructions on the conduct of her household for King John's daughter, Eleanor, who married Simon de Montfort; her administrative powers as lady of the manor are the issue, not female weakness. 129

A clear indication of the overlapping and the distinct goals set for princes and princesses is provided by two sets of guidelines for the upbringing of (St.) Louis IX of France's children. The Dominican scholastic, Vincent of Beauvais, came close to the attitude expressed in Ecclesiasticus, cited at the head of the chapter, which he quoted at the outset of his De Eruditione Filiorum Nobilium in 1247-49; this work was commissioned by Louis IX's queen, Marguerite of Provence, and probably served a useful function during their father's absence on Crusade, to guide the clerk who educated Isabelle and Philippe. 130 Vincent was appointed lector at the Cistercian Abbey of Royaumont, which was frequented by the royal family, so he observed them at first hand. The asymmetry of his treatment is notable, privileging intellectual activities for sons, albeit with more severe discipline, and dwelling on piety and moral rectitude for girls. 131 As Krueger emphasized, he clearly stated that "boys are to be educated" whereas "girls are to be guarded" (Krueger, 156-59). 132 For women, chastity was more significant than prudence, and knowledge was not necessary to virtue. There followed Louis's own "teachings" for his son, the future Philip III "le Hardi," and instructions to his daughter Isabelle, Queen of Navarre and Countess of Champagne (Isabelle married Thibaut II of Navarre, later Thibaut V of Champagne, in 1255; Table 1); 133 these seem to date from the eve of the Eighth Crusade, about 1267 to 1270. Three paragraphs containing injunctions for Isabelle to love Christ and to exercise charity to the poor, to dress modestly and use jewelry in moderation, to have only women of good lives and repute as her intimates, and to obey her husband, father and mother, were not included in his instructions to his son. Nor were several injunctions against speaking openly, and an exhortation to think often of death and the putrefaction of her body. But the clearest indication that he regarded her in greater need of mortifying the flesh than his son is his gift, with such instructions, of the whips that he himself had used. 134 The instructions to Isabelle were intended as a private document, as stated in a clause forbidding her sharing them with anyone else (other than her brother in some versions), so the manual for his son was more immediately available outside the family. 135 This is a longer document, and is less weighted toward proscriptions, listing rather a Christian king's right behaviors toward the church and its followers. He must love good and hate evil, monitor what is said in his presence in case it leads to sin, protect the poor and churchmen, avoid armed conflict in his realm, remain faithful in his devotion to God and the Virgin, and arrange for masses for his father's soul when he dies. 136 Ultimately, the king is "responsible for everything that happens in his kingdom (O'Connell, 1972, 51). Once both texts had been included in Guillaume de Saint Pathus's collection (incidentally commissioned by Louis' daughter Blanche, who lived to 1320) they were no doubt read in the circles for which the manuscripts studied here were produced. 137

Aristotle's Politics was influential, especially in Paris, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries (during the latter there were two French translations: Orme, 90). Giles of Rome, an Augustinian canon who studied and taught in Paris, was commissioned by Philippe III le Hardi in the 1270's to write a treatise on education for his son, the future king Philippe le Bel -- the patriarch of the book owners I will be discussing (Orme, 93). In 1286 the new king commissioned a French translation, known as Li livres du gouvernement des rois , presumably to be used in his own sons' upbringing (Giles of Rome, xviii). The work was in fact copied nearly 250 times during the next two centuries, and translated into eight other languages. 138 I examined the opening page of the manuscript now in the Morgan Library at the outset of this chapter (fig. 1).

Figure 3.1

The dedication contains a reference to the Politics [of Aristotle], and emphasizes the need to follow nature in good government; whatever goes against nature will not last long (Giles of Rome, 2-3). Most of the work is directed to young men as future rulers. A short section on the upbringing of girls emphasizes seclusion and control, the need to avoid idleness and to take care in speaking; spinning and sewing are recommended activities, though reading might occupy women of too high rank for work with textiles (Orme, 107, Giles of Rome, 225-30). The question of women reading was also addressed in Franscesco da Barberino's guide to behavior and dress, written in the south of France about 1307-1315. He emphasized that aristocratic girls must read and write well, to manage their estates later, but hesitated as to whether the daughters of the middle class should read; he decided not -- they had better learn to sew and cook (Hentsch, 106-107).


Posing at the outset of her important study of the didactic poetry of Robert de Blois the question "by what complex mechanisms are subjects engendered?" Krueger enlisted his work "to show how the complex process of gender indoctrination is problematized at a micro-level in the process of writing and reading" (Krueger, 156). Among other treatises she cites is the one commissioned from Giles of Rome by Phillip III; Krueger especially noted its stated anxiety about the legitimacy of the male line, which could be threatened by an unchaste wife (Giles of Rome, 163, 175). 139 She further argues that, even in the straight-forward moralizing texts, the moralist and his female reader enter into a pleasurable collusion, because the matter at hand is sexuality even if it is under the guise of chastity (Krueger, 160-61); compensation and recuperation are at work. This is a richer perspective than the one I used in the construction of my pubescent female reader for the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, and one that helps to answer those of my readers who preferred to (re)construct a pleasurable reading. But most importantly, Krueger's work, while taking note of the extent to which the romance genre of writing was directed toward women patrons, found it participated in the "pervasive myths of gender in our culture," by engendering its readers (Krueger, xi-xiv, and ch. 1).

Krueger offered a deconstructive reading of the supposedly distinct genres of Robert de Blois's writings contained in the manuscripts (moral treatises, religious poems, the Ovidian romance tale of Floris and Lyriopé, bracketed between a mother's instructions to her son and his (mis)adventures). This allowed her to account for inconsistencies and gender instabilities as something other than authorial clumsiness (Krueger, 161-76); his texts are complicit with sexualizing the female body, enumerating the parts to be covered, as they do not in the case of the mail-clad knight's body. And they include transgressive (even cross-dressed) characters that seem to challenge the very stereotypes of male and female that are overtly prescribed. These transgressions, Krueger argued, like the commissions for courtesy literature in the first place, attest to late medieval culture's anxiety about gender roles. I note in addition that the moralist's voice at the outset is given to Beaudous's mother, which also seems a reversal of the prevalent view that it was women who were most in need of moral instruction, and of the literary genre of which this book is in fact an example, whereby men instructed women in right behaviors. The entire edifice of gender hierarchy, one might suppose, is in jeopardy. Such inversions belong to the very edge of existence, the margins of the world where "women had the minds of men, while men lacked reason." 140

Whereas we saw in chapter two the anxieties that surrounded the construction of masculinity in Norman military-dominated circles, late medieval culture was especially invested in the issue of controlling the behavior of wives in order to preserve untainted lineages. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, especially in France, there was a general tightening of gender boundaries; the cathedral schools did not educate women, medicine became a university subject and medical care (except gynecology) was increasingly taken from the female herbalists, the revenues of the monastic houses for women were diverted, widows were less likely to manage their estates. Without a radical change in the scientific view of sexual difference, some aspects of women's "nature" were emphasized in texts such as the Secrets of Women : belief in menstrual pollution, for instance, combined with a complete lack of knowledge of the timing of ovulation, gave rise to the idea that leprosy resulted from a woman conceiving during menstruation ( Secrets, 130-131). "Courtesy" literature in the vernacular for women alone burgeoned in the fourteenth century, from the Mirroir des bonnes femmes of about 1300, to the guide Geoffrey de la Tour-Landry wrote for his daughters, or the treatise known by its anonymous author, the Ménagier de Paris (Bornstein, 48-49, 126; Caviness, 1993, 41; Orme, 107-109). 141 A Franciscan, Durand de Champagne, wrote a Speculum Dominarum (Mirror for Ladies) for Jeanne I de Navarre, wife of Philippe le Bel (d. 1305). 142 The Latin text has survived in a single copy, and only summaries have been published, but recensions of the French translation that was probably supplied by the author, or at least by a Franciscan, belonged to Jeanne d'Evreux among others of the next generation (Hentsch, 99-103; Holladay, 602). 143 The full Latin version begins with fifteen chapters on the subject of the natural condition of women, and especially her woes (Quid sit mulier ex conditione naturae), followed by twenty-three chapters on the qualities and behaviors expected of a queen, especially in the hope her presence must hold out to the destitute, and the need for humility. She should not indulge in the "material" pleasures of hunting and the like. She must read good books (though wisdom, which distinguishes mankind from brutes, is more needed by a king). Reading a text herself would fix the content better in memory than merely hearing it read. The third part expands on the good behavior required of a queen, distinguishing her command in the outer realm of her palace from the inner realm of her conscience. She must model her behavior on the virtuous women of the Bible, as well as some examples offered by Seneca, Cicero, and Macrobius.

The preoccupations remain constant in these manuals, but the warnings against gossip, tarty clothes, and sex, were increasingly dramatized; Geoffrey's stories of the instant punishment of sexual misconduct by married couples might well have terrified his daughters (Elliott, 7, 21). Collections of miracles in this "calamitous" fourteenth century showed the saints reinforcing family stability, by helping recipients of their mercy combat illicit sexual desire. It was even feared that the Devil himself was attendant on the marriage bed, necessitating priests to say prayers over the bride's couch to purify it (Goodich, 506); and Aquinas followed Origen in the belief that sexual intercourse suspends the capacity for prayer (Elliott, 22).

The Shivaree of the Margins and the Construction of Gender:

As we have seen, the group of north European prayer books studied here exhibits a feature typical of the period around 1300, that is the margins of almost every page, and sometimes the line-endings and initial letters, are invaded by composite creatures that are conventionally known as hybrids, and natural-looking animals and birds. All these creatures, and sometimes humans as well, play roles in scenes of hunting and fighting, or actions that appear farcical or lewd. 144 I have carefully selected books for which the gender of the first owner (or intended recipient) has been established; most of these readers were lay individuals, but a few were monastics or clerics.

The manuscripts with prolific marginalia selected for study were books for personal devotion, almost equally distributed among psalters, books of hours, and breviaries (see Tables 2b & 3a). Psalters of the period have calendars, followed by the psalms in Latin with decorated capitals or pictures at the liturgical divisions, and the canticles; some have prefatory illustrations placed before the psalms (fig. 4: 2). 145

Figure 3.7

A common variant seen here includes prayers at the end, which may be in the vernacular. Books of hours tended to replace psalters for use during private prayer by the fourteenth century. Typically, they are manuscripts of small to moderate size, with a calendar listing the holy feasts and personal commemorations of each month (normally, as in psalters, illuminated with signs of the zodiac and labors of the months), and the prayers and psalms for the office of the Virgin presented in the order of the liturgical hours, with various additions such as Hours of the Holy Spirit, the Hours of the Passion, the Penitential Psalms, and so on (Wieck, 27-28). 146

Figure 3.17

The book usually closes with the office for the dead, and the litany of saints to be called upon in daily prayer, in which some vernacular may be used. Large narrative scenes, illustrating the life of the Virgin/early life of Christ, and the Passion of Christ if those hours are included, are usually distributed through the book at the beginning of the text divisions for the hours (figs. 7, 17, 39, 43, 44); occasionally these images are on prefatory pages.

Figure 3.39

The breviary, also a type of liturgical book for individual use, combined more elements than the book of hours, including the biblical and hagiographical readings for the main feasts of the year; it was more likely to have been used by people in orders than by the laity (figs. 15, 22, 26, 40).

Figure 3.40

147 The language is Latin throughout, and most breviaries are divided into two volumes, one for winter and one for summer.

Figure 3.43


Thirty years after the remarkable contributions of Randall, the margins in general, and the images in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, have had a tremendous vogue recently. 148

Figure 3.44

Holladay and Guest were exploring different aspects of the instructive value of the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux to this young bride at the very time I worked on my articles. 149 Both concentrated on the good works and elemosinary behavior expected of her as a member of her class and descendent of St. Louis. Holladay's study is inflected by the documented relationship of the book to Jeanne; as a gift from her husband, it encoded his authoritative instructions, and the author enriches this context by a wealth of painstakingly researched biographical and personal details concerning the queen and her reputation.

Figure 3.15

Guest's interpretation privileges clerical instruction, and he provides much useful background information concerning attitudes to the poor as deserving or undeserving recipients of charity. Curiously, he seems to regard this agenda, with its evident effect of monitoring and controlling the trickle-down of wealth to the poor so that class hegemonies are preserved, as somehow antithetical to the agenda I described, by which prescribed sex/gender arrangements maintained gender hierarchy. In Baudrillard's Marxist formulation, from which I quote in the epigraph to next chapter, gender and class differences are both constructed in western society in order to maintain the superiority of the rulers. Furthermore, Farmer has now elucidated clerical attitudes that regarded "natural" female generosity as foolish, yet distinguished between the good simplicity of charity to the poor, and the profligate giving of their own bodies by adulteresses and prostitutes. 150

Figure 3.22


Other contextual studies of medieval imagery have enriched our view of the margins, while suspending modernist notions of personal liberty and sexual freedom. A review of some of the literature on marginalia reveals several contested issues that I have dealt with only in the limited perspective of gender construction: 1) humor. Did (any of) the motifs appear humorous to a medieval audience? This immediately raises the question, what was the viewing community -- or to what social community did the owner belong? (class, gender, religious/secular, literate/illiterate)? How can we know who might have laughed? 2) obscenity. The same questions apply. 3) cohesiveness. Do the margins work with or against the center? Generally speaking, those who find laughter construct a binary polarity, with the margins secondary. Those who find they work together most usually rely on textual/verbal coincidences, but this can include philosophical/theological notions, and this raises the question of 4) program. How much was programmed? And by whom? Are there other ways in which the margins can be seen to support the devotional use of most of these books? And how does the program intersect with 5) ideology, in the sense of apparently normal strategies for maintaining social hierarchies. This is often best answered by deciding who benefits from the way certain issues are presented? I have looked at the literature with these issues in mind, while continuing to focus on my chosen issue of gender.

Weir and Jerman's book Images of Lust was a revisionist landmark, arguing that the function of the creatures that exposed their genitals at Romanesque and Gothic roof lines "is not erotic but rather the reverse, that these extraordinarily frank carvings were more probably an element in the medieval Church's campaign against immorality, and that they were not intended to inflame the passions but rather to allay them" (Weir and Jerman, 11, and 151-54). This sounds much like Foucault's theory that repression is fundamental to the discourse of sexuality. The widespread "hags of the castle" or sheela-na-gigs as they became known in Ireland win the prize for repulsiveness over the priapic males or isolated male genitalia because the phallus was/is still invested with empowered masculinity, as I argued in chapter two (e.g. Weir and Jerman, ch. 8). 151 Women's ability to give birth, evoked by the sheelas that hold their own labia open, was not an accepted cultural symbol of power in the middle ages, nor was its frank display likely to appear sexually inviting. Humans with serpentine, fishy, or bestial terminations in place of genitals and legs obviously frustrate sexual desire even as their nudity might begin to arouse it (Weir and Jerman, ch. 5).

Figure 3.26

I have argued that this pleasure-deprivation, inciting anger in the viewer, lies at the heart of defining the obscene. 152 Indeed, these crude, for the most part Romanesque, carvings did not risk being misunderstood; their discourse is that of the abject. 153 But the painters who, by 1300, could conjure such sensual half-bodied creatures in the intimate spaces of book margins were taking risks with the outcome.

Figure 3.5

No longer as "ugly as sin," the phrase Weir and Jerman can appropriately use, some Gothic grotesques, whether male or female, had the sensual allure of sin itself (figs. 5, 8, 10, 16, 20, 24, 26, 31, 40).


Another popular marginal site for recent probing has been the wooden choirstall carvings that are known as misericords, from "have pity on," because of their function in allowing the religious to lean on them during the opus dei. They are placed under the bottoms rather than under the eyes of the monks/nuns and canons, and much of their subject matter is appropriately base.

Figure 3.8

As Grössinger has emphasized, the animals playing rough music, chimeras, devils, and aggressive women depicted there are inherently evil (in Age of Chivalry, 122-24, 429-31); the more reason for the clergy to put them behind them. Kenaan-Kedar, refers to a "visual subculture," noting that the under-seat subjects are different from those of the choirstall backs and hand rests (143). Sekules, referring in passing to the 'world turned upside down' as a genre "thought to be hugely funny," nonetheless caught the satirical aspect of many representations of women on the margins, whether in manuscripts, sedilia, misericords, or outside placements such as roof lines (Age of Chivalry, 46-47); such satire even places in question the possibility of virtue as a female personification. 154

Figure 3.10

Grössinger's sustained analysis of English misericord sculptures expands on the view that many of them depict lascivious or demonic presences. The same themes have been observed in Spanish, Flemish, and German choirstalls, and one early twentieth-century scholar insisted on their satirical and symbolic import (Maeterlinck)). 155 In fact in the previous century, sculpted "grotesques" had already attracted the attention of Champfleury who was best known for his interest in caricature; the co-author of a volume on the various subjects visible in Rouen, Jules Adeline, capitalized his emphatic conclusion that hybrids "embody complex, nuanced, and under-stated ideas that often resist exact interpretation" (Adeline, 345).

Figure 3.16

His long annotated bibliography was intended to allow the reader to choose between the "symbolisateurs" and the minority opinion that the sculptures had been done at the whim of the craftsmen (269). In the first half of the twentieth century several well-known art historians, such as Emile Mâle, Meyer Schapiro, Francis Klingender, and T. S. R. Boase, took the latter view (Wentersdorf, 1-3). Yet the debate was far from over. Its later history was traced by Armstead in 1996, who advocated a middle ground, using Bakhtin's notion of a dialogic relation between learned and unlearned cultural production (Armstead, 57-61). Sandler also wrote a review article in which she is enthusiastic about Bakntin's tenets as well as Aron Gurevich's use of them but does not address the postmodern critique of Bakhtin that I had summarized (Sandler, 1997, 34-35; Caviness, 1993, 57-8 & 179).

Figure 3.20

Also in a Bakhtinian vein, Smith had argued that non-Christian and secular topoi no/ in the margins were "perceived as something other, something in need of being Christianized;" though reinterpreted in relation to sacred writ, they must still have been viewed as "secondary, and contingent." 156 I find my self more in agreement with a much earlier assessment by Wentersdorf, to the effect that "the purpose of scatological imagery, at least in the early stages of the grotesque tradition [late twelfth to early fourteenth centuries], must have been as overtly didactic as the content of the manuscripts in which the illustrations were inserted" (Wentersdorf, 5). And, as he pointed out, many of the early examples are in theological or liturgical texts, far from street carnival. He also stressed the diabolic aura of many grotesques, as I have above (Wentersdorf, 1-2).


Camille's Image on the Edge appeared in 1992, and has had a number of searching reviews. 157 Although he used Bakhtin as a point of departure, his positioning of the margins was much more subtle and fluid (Camille, 11-12). He wove acrobatically in and out of medieval and modern attitudes, spinning a polysemous story, and refusing to take a singular position on issues such as subversion, ideology, or intention. As in earlier articles, Camille paid attention to the very nature of the written word as cultural code (13, 20-31), but he also extended the notion of the margins beyond the text-page to the edges of the monastery and cathedral, the court and the city. Like many postmodern texts, his has to be read whole; it cannot be reduced to metonymies by judicial choice of quotations.

Figure 3.24

And although several instances of factual distortion can be pointed up, they do not unravel the interpretive tissue. Yet some further comments on reading Camille's text as a person who is gendered female are apropos, if only because in reading him I realized the extent to which I had naturalized heterosexual readings: For instance his interpretation of a nude couple who appear to be engaged in cunnilingus denied this possibility for the middle ages (preferring to see the man desiring to re-enter the womb), and he privileged the possibility of anal penetration of the man by a bird's beak, which he fantasizes to be the prick of God (Camille, 53-54, fig. 24). This reading followed closely on a passage summarizing medieval misogyny that is so powerfully written it seems to transmit the very ideas it critiques. The images in the margins often defy iconographic codes, and thus, like Rorschach tests, tend to liberate each viewer to their own psychological predilections. 158

Figure 3.31


Gerson provided a fundamentally different reading of the same image, very plausibly linking it with the adjacent text of Psalm 86 (87), as I also did (Gerson, 50). 159 She perceives that the text negates procreation: "It is not said of Zion: this man and that man were born in you." In a footnote, she queries whether the pecking bird refers to coitus interruptus, and if we take the proscriptive element seriously, it is worth noting that cunnilingus, coitus interruptus, and anal penetration, were all forbidden ways of enjoying sex and avoiding pregnancy. The female book owner was probably concerned with pregnancy and birthing, as Gerson suggests from the inclusion of the life of St. Margaret; but I prefer to think the literate artist who designed the images was instructed by her confessor to promulgate such negative ideas on sexuality, than that the lady devised her own visual punishments as Gerson argued (p. 50). 160

Like Camille and Gerson, Sandler has recently ingeniously found cases in which specific marginal motifs are tied into the meanings or double meanings of adjacent words (Sandler 1996). 161 The manuscript she examined for these imagines verborum is the East Anglian psalter made in the second quarter of the fourteenth century for Geoffrey Luttrell. She found forty cases in which phrases, words or even syllables seem to have inspired adjacent images, which are in a robust, colorful style that would catch the reader's attention. Rather than postulating that they (primarily) enhanced memorization, however, she suggests that they were the artist's way of providing "a heightened and intensified experience of reading, through the discovery and appreciation of all the riches both apparent and concealed in the words" (p. 97). This witty, intellectual game of exegesis and punning does not, however, explain the aggression and freakishness of many of the images, and to that extent this seems to me to provide a valid but partial reading, leaving aside or even suppressing the menacing aspect of the repeated grotesques, and the proclivity of the artist to select misdemeanors for this kind of attention. 162 However, Sandler had much earlier, if rather tentatively, challenged the prevailing view that these deformed creatures provided light relief from "the unremitting seriousness of religious texts," by noting how appropriately they conjure "the sinfulness and evil that beset mankind" (Sandler 1981, 62). 163 And her article on "a bawdy betrothal" in another English psalter, in which she identified sexual innuendoes with the help of the fabliaux, has become a classic (Sandler 1985).

In 1996, Ogden, a graduate student at Tufts, completed a detailed study of the images in an early fourteenth-century Book of Hours in Baltimore (Walters Gallery, MS 104). Ogden's most interesting finding in relation to my own work is that motifs with fertile and sexual innuendoes (hares, birds, rough music) abound in the Hours of the Virgin, clustering particularly densely at the Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity, whereas harpies, blemyas, grotesques with rump masks, and chimeras congregate in the latter part of the book, from the Penitential Psalms through the Office of the Dead (ff. 51-111v; Ogden, 117, 138). 164 She accepted the traditional lore associated with this book, that it celebrated a marriage and was perhaps, like the later Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, the groom's gift to his bride. Shields of arms in the book had been identified as those of the houses of Namur, Hainaut, Châtillon, and Dampierre, Counts of Flanders; there is also a liberal use of the fleur-de-lys of France. 165 The most convincing identification for the original owner (the woman in prayer next to the Nativity, f. 32v) is Marguerite de Valois who married Guy de Châtillon in 1310, an acceptable date for the core of the manuscript which seems to have been made in the region of Arras; but if so, the arms on this folio were adapted for the marriage of Jeanne de Hainaut to their son Louis de Châtillon, in the late 1330s (Ogden, 22-32, table on 216). Guy de Châtillon was a grandson of Guy de Dampierre, whose Psalter is studied here, and the Walters manuscript might be seen as a derivative. Its decoration, however is for the most part more exuberant.

The affective powers ascribed to "art" in the middle ages have not been sufficiently acknowledged in the modern discourse of Art History. 166 Without making a Marxist theoretical distinction between material base and institutional superstructure, medieval patrons of the arts must have thought of the works they commissioned as something like investments, an outlay that should boost productivity, whether material or spiritual. 167 In this way, medieval "arts" more closely resemble those of many non-western societies than they do those of the industrialized west. 168 From the earliest period of Christianity, theologians had sought to justify (or to deny) the exchange-value of images. My claim is that around 1300 these trained advisors enlisted an extraordinarily varied repertory of images in the decoration of private devotional books in a project to maintain gender hierarchies. 169 These subliminal devices reinforced the lessons that, as we have seen, were textualized in the tracts that ranged from late thirteenth-century treatises in Latin on the edification of sons and the control of daughters, to the most repressive of the fourteenth-century vernacular "courtesy" books for women.

There is plenty of textual evidence from the Dominicans Humbert and Vincent of Beauvais, and Louis IX, that assiduous attention to the daily cycle of prayer, especially to the Hours of the Cross and of the Virgin, was a factor in the control of young women's innate sinfulness (Vincent of Beauvais, ch. XLIII ed. Tobin, 32-33; O'Connell, 1979, 79 # 8). Jerome was even quoted to the effect that girls should get up in the night for prayer, a practice which had otherwise been systematized by the Benedictine rule (Vincent of Beauvais, 181). Their books of hours were thus in constant use as tools for the construction of approved gendered behaviors, and instruction in reading was validated by their need for prayer. 170 Given the stern affect of their confessors (as we know it from their writings), it is unlikely that they offered any humorous or scatological material to these aristocratic girls in the margins, as a kind of palliative. Which is not to say that the shiver of fright on first acquaintance with these monsters might not have been tinged with eroticism, in which the girls perhaps momentarily colluded with their confessors.

The overall tenor of the visual motifs, including their multivalence and intervisuality, is the touchstone of my argument, more than any demonstrable "iconography," or consistency in associating symbolic meanings with signs. Yet I had to make a concerted effort in order to circumvent a twentieth-century casualness about "grotesques," which assumed they were read as funny (drôle) rather than as diabolic (Caviness 1993, 55-60). In the circumstances, given the weight of opinion that enlisted Bakhtin in order to validate laughter, it is hard to negotiate between an overturning gesture (negating polar difference between center and margins) and an overdetermined argument.

Figure 3.3

My contention is that in some circumstances these marginalia, as well as the more obvious sacred subjects of the pictures in the central field, participated in the ideological work of gender construction by nagging and threatening, guiding and goading pious men and women to conform to "correct" gendered behaviors. New findings presented here support the assumption that even casual-appearing motifs were purposefully employed in the margins: The principal illuminator made a number of corrections in a psalter prepared for presentation to a French king, Louis X le Hutin, most often scraping away hares and replacing them with apes, or with a female grotesque (figs. 3, 4). Some erasures in the Hours of Jeanne II de Navarre, discussed in the next chapter, must also be an indication of disapproval, but perhaps by a later reader. 171 There is nothing casual or unheeding in the margins. They operate as an almost impenetrable thicket, sometimes enticing the reader's eyes from the sacred text that they enclose, yet always redirecting them into the safe haven of the prayers; they hedge out the temptations of the world by evoking them so powerfully. I contend that the margins are the primary structure of these pages, and therefore not "marginal" at all.

Figure 3.4


Hedging in Men and Women:

From what was said in the treatises on education reviewed above, we might expect the imagery in books made for men to demand more of their intellect than those programmed into women's books; and ecclesiastical owners could be expected to have more knowledge gained from reading Latin texts such as the Vulgate. These distinctions are borne out in the works examined here. Many of the female grotesques favored in men's books evoke a literary context, whether biblical (the woman-headed serpent) or Classical (sirens); their nude torsos may appeal to the eye, but a knowledge of the text (and consideration of their tails) will protect the viewer from their allure. The grotesques and chimeras in women's books, on the other hand, give few literary clues. Nor are they sensual; most border on the abject, eliciting negative feelings about the body. Many have draped male torsos joined to demonic hairy hind parts with phallic tails curling forward. Their negative message is more visceral than intellectual.

For the laity of the early fourteenth century, gender was indissolubly linked to sexuality. Women, held to be the sexual aggressors, had to learn abstinence for the well-being of their lineage, and more especially the continuation of their husband's line, enabling the smooth transmission of properties from one generation to the next. Their prayer books provided practical exercises in concentration in the face of the distractions and temptations of the margins. To procreate meant straying into this world, where rough music, fleeing hares, cavorting apes, and disjointed bodies were reminders of the demons always beckoning the unwary (Rey-Flaud, 38-42, 113-119). This shivaree obeyed the precept of Ecclesiasticus not to show a kind face, and so frightened young women into good behavior for the good of the state. Those for whom no husband was chosen must submit to absolute abstinence, their gender defined by denial of sexuality, and exclusion of fecundity. For men the lessons were not very different, but they were expected to exercise more reasoned control. In so far as Aristotle's one-sex model impacted theological discourse, it seems that in this period such a belief-system increased the social imperative to distinguish two genders. In the modernist account I have given in this chapter, the agents of this repressive binary system appear to be the Dominicans and Franciscans. High-born lay women colluded with it as readily as did their lords and husbands. They believed that the moral precepts they all upheld were essential to the welfare of church and state, as well as the individual.


Essential Reading for Chapter 3: Hedging in Men and Women

Note: This bibliography is organized in two sections: The first relates to the manuscripts, including studies of marginalia. Additional bibliographic references for the manuscripts whose marginalia are tabulated are in the footnotes. The second section lists the sources for pre-modern theories of gender construction and sexual difference.

I: The manuscripts, and studies of marginalia, grotesques, and shivaree

  • Adeline, Jules, with a preface by Champfleury. Les Scultures grotesques et symboliques (Rouen et environs). Rouen: E. Augé, [1879].
  • Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400 , ed. Jonathan Alexander and Paul Binski (exh. cat.), London: Royal Academy of Arts and Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1987.
  • Armstead, Wendy. "Interpreting Images of Women with Books in Misericords." In Women and the Book: Assessing the Visual Evidence , ed. Lesley Smith and Jane H. M. Taylor, 57-74. London: The British Library, 1996.
  • Avril, François and Jean Lafaurie, La Librairie de Charles V (exh. cat.), Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, 1968.
  • Becksmann, Rüdiger. Von der Ordnung der Welt: Mittelalterliche Glasmalereien aus Esslinger Kirchen. Esslingen: Stadt und Evalgelisce Gesamtkirchengemeinde, 1997.
  • Camille, Michael. Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art . Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 1992.
  • Caviness, Madeline H. "A Feminist Reading of the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux," Japan and Europe in Art History: Papers of the Colloquium of the Comité International d'Histoire de l'Art, Tokyo, 1991 , ed. Shuji Takashina, 481-515 (English) and 516-536 (Japanese). Tokyo: Chuo-Koron Bijutsu Shuppan, 1995.
  • Caviness, Madeline H. "Patron or Matron? A Capetian Bride and a Vade Mecum for Her Marriage Bed." In Studying Medieval Women: Sex, Gender, Feminism , ed. Nancy F. Partner, 31-60, & 175-181. Cambridge: Medieval Academy of America, 1993. Reprint of Speculum 68/2 (April 1993), with bibliographies added).
  • Caviness, Madeline H. "Anchoress, Abbess and Queen: Donors and Patrons or Intercessors and Matrons?" in The Cultural Patronage of Medieval Women , ed. June Hall McCash (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1996), 105-54.
  • Duby, Georges. The Knight the Lady and the Priest: The Making of Modern Marriage in Medieval France . Trans. Barbara Bray. New York: Pantheon Books, 1983. Originally Le chevalier, la femme et le prêtre . Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1981.
  • Gerson, Paula. "Margins for Eros." Romance Languages Annual 5 (1993): 47-53.
  • Grössinger, Christa. The World Upside-Down: English Misericords . London: Harvey Miller, 1997.
  • Guest, Gerald B. "A Discourse on the Poor: The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux." Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 26 (1995): 153-80.
  • Hassig, Debra. "The Iconography of Rejection: Jews and Other Monstrous Races," in Image and Belief: Studies in Celebration of the Eightieth Anniversary of the Index of Christian Art , ed. Colum Hourihane (Princeton: Index of Christian Art, 1999): 25-46,
  • Hillgarth, J. N. Raymon Lull and Lullism in Fourteenth-Century France . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971.
  • Holladay, Joan A. "The Education of Jeanne d'Evreux: Personal Piety and Dynastic Salvation in her Book of Hours at the Cloisters." Art History 17 (1994): 585-611.
  • Kenaan-Kedar, Nurith. Marginal Sculpture in Medieval France: Toward the deciphering of an enigmatic pictorial language . Aldershot: Scholar Press, 1995.
  • Maeterlinck, Louis. Le Genre satirique fantastique et licencieux dans la Sculpture flamande et wallonne. Paris: Jean Schemit, 1910.
  • Morand, Kathleen. Jean Pucelle . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962.
  • Ogden, Jennifer McDaniel. Audience and Exempla: A Guide to Marriage for a Noblewoman in the Fourteenth Century , MA thesis, Tufts University, 1996 (unpublished).
  • Porcher, Jean. Les Manuscrits à Peintures en France du XIIIe au XIVe siècle , preface by André Malraux, Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, 1955.
  • Randall, Lilian M. C. "Exempla as a Source of Gothic Marginal Illumination." Art Bulletin 39 (1957): 97-107.
  • Randall, Lilian M. C. "A Medieval Slander." Art Bulletin 42 (1960): 25-40.
  • Randall, Lilian M. C. Images in the Margins of Gothic Manuscripts. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966.
  • Rey-Flaud, Henri. Charivari: Les rituels fondamentaux de la sexualité . Paris: Payot, 1985.
  • Roy, Bruno, ed., L'Erotisme au moyen âge: Etudes présentées au Troisième colloque de l'Institut d'études médiévales . Montreal: Editions de l'Aurore, 1977.
  • Sandler, Lucy Freeman (1974). The Peterborough Psalter in Brussels and Other Fenland Manuscripts. London: Miller, 1974.
  • Sandler, Lucy Freeman (1981). "Reflections on the Construction of Hybrids in English Gothic Illustration." In Art the Ape of Nature: Studies in Honor of H. W. Janson , ed. Moshe Barasch and Lucy Freeman Sandler, 51-65. New York: Harry Abrams, 1981.
  • Sandler, Lucy Freeman (1985). "A Bawdy Betrothal in the Ormesby Psalter." In A Tribute to Lotte Brand Philip, Art Historian and Detective , ed. William Clark, et al., 154-59. New York: Abaris Books, 1985.
  • Sandler, Lucy Freeman (1996). "The Word in the Text and the Image in the Margin: The Case of the Luttrell Psalter." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 54 (1996): 87-99.
  • Sandler, Lucy Freeman (1997). "The Study of Marginal Imagery: Past, Present, and Future," Studies in Iconography 18 (1997): 1-49.
  • Schapiro, Meyer. "Marginal Images and Drôlerie." In Late Antique, Early Christian and Medieval Art: Selected Papers . New York: George Braziller, 1979, 196-198. Originally published in 1970 as a review of Randall, Images in the Margins.
  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakraorty. "Explanation and Culture: Marginalia," Humanities in Society 2 (1979): 201-21.
  • Weir, Anthony and James Jerman. Images of Lust: Sexual Carvings on Medieval Churches . London: Batsford Academic and Educational, 1986.
  • Wentersdorf, Karl P. "The Symbolic Significance of figurae scatologicae in Gothic Manuscripts." In Word, Picture, and Spectacle , ed. Clifford Davidson, 1-19. Kalamazoo MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1984.
  • Wieck, Roger S. Time Sanctified: The Book of Hours in Medieval Art and Life . New York: George Braziller, 1988.
  • Winternitz, Emmanuel. Musical Instruments and their Symbolism in Western Art . London: Faber and Faber, 1967, esp. ch. 10, "Bagpipes for the Lord," 129-49, pls. 58-63. Reprinted from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin June, 1958.

II: Pre-modern theories of gender construction and sexual difference:

  • Allen, Prudence. The Concept of Woman: The Aristotelian Revolution 750 BC - AD 1250 . Montreal: Eden Press, 1985.
  • Aristotle. The "Art" of Rhetoric. Trans. John Henry Freese. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959.
  • Aristotle. The Politics. Trans. T. A. Sinclair, rev. T. J. Saunders. New York: Penguin Books, 1992.
  • Bornstein, Diane, The Lady in the Tower: Medieval Courtesy Literature for Women . Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1983.
  • Bullough, Vern L. and James Brundage, ed. Sexual Practices & the Medieval Church. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1982.
  • Bynum, Caroline. "Why All the Fuss about the Body? A Medievalist's Perspective." Critical Inquiry 22 (Autumn 1995): 1-33.
  • Cadden, Joan. "It Takes All Kinds: Sexuality and Gender Differences in Hildegard of Bingen's 'Book of Compound Medicine.'" Traditio 40 (1984): 149-74.
  • Cadden, Joan. Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science, Culture . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Castelli, Elizabeth. "'I Will Make Mary Male': Pieties of the Body and Gender Transformation of Christian Women in Late Antiquity." In Body Guards: The Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity, ed. Julia Epstein and Kristina Straub, 29-49. New York: Routledge, 1991.
  • Elliott, Dyan. "Sex in Holy Places: An Exploration of Medieval Anxiety." Journal of Women's History 6/3 (Fall, 1994): 6-34.
  • Etienne de Fougères. Le Livre des Manières. Ed. R. Anthony Lodge. Geneva: Droz, 1979 (references in the text are to verses).
  • Ferrari, Gloria. Figures of Speech (book manuscript, 1992), ch. 4: "The Third Sex," 181-224.
  • Farmer, Sharon. "Feminine Folly, Burgher Calculation, and Anti-Communal Rhetoric in Thirteenth-Century Tours," Studies in Iconography 17 (1996): 143-76.
  • Forberg, Frederick Charles. Manual of Classical Erotology (de figuris Veneris). Reprint of 1884 edition, New York: Grove Press, 1966.
  • Giles of Rome. Li Livres du Gouvernement des Rois: A XIIIth Century French Version of Egidio Colonna's Treatise De Regimine Principum. Trans. Henri de Gauchy, ed. Samuel Paul Molenaer. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1899.
  • Gleason, Maud W. "The Semiotics of Gender: Physiognomy and Self-Fashioning in the Second Century C.E." In Before Sexuality , ed. D. M. Halperin, J.J. Winkler, and F. I. Zeitlin, 389-415. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990. Reprinted as Chapter 3, "Deportment as Language: Physiognomy and the Semiotics of Gender." In her Making Men: Sophists and Self-Representation in Ancient Rome . Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994, 55-81.
  • Goodich, Michael. "Sexuality, Family, and the Supernatural in the Fourteenth Century." Journal of the History of Sexuality 4 (1994): 493-516.
  • Green, Monica H. "Female Sexuality in the Medieval West." Trends in History 4 (1990): 127-58.
  • Hentsch, Alice A. De la Littérature didactique du Moyen Age s'adressant spécialement aux femmes . Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1975.
  • Jacquart, Danielle and Claude Thomasset. Sexuality and Medicine in the Middle Ages . Trans. Matthew Adamson. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988. Originally Sexualité et savoir médical au moyen âge . Paris: Presses univérsitaires de France,1985.
  • Krueger, Roberta L. Women Readers and the Ideology of Gender in Old French Verse Romance . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993: ch. 4: "Women readers and the politics of gender in Le Roman de Silence , 1-32, & ch. 6: "Constructing sexual identities in of Robert de Blois' of Robert de Blois' didactic poetry," 156-82. Ch. 6 was first published in Paragraph 13 (1990): 105-31.
  • Laqueur, Thomas. Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990. Both chs.
  • Nicholls, Jonathan. The Matter of Courtesy: Medieval Courtesy Books and the Gawain Poet . Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 1985.
  • Murray, Jacqueline. "Thinking about Gender: The Diversity of Medieval Perspectives." In Power of the Weak: Studies in Medieval Women , ed. Jennfer Carpenter and Sally-Beth MacLean, 1-26. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1995.
  • O'Connell, David. The Teachings of Saint Louis: A Critical Text , Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1972.
  • O'Connell, David. The Instructions of Saint Louis: A Critical Text . North Carolina Studies in the Romance Languages and Literatures, 216. Chapel Hill: UNC Department of Romance Languages, 1979.
  • Orme, Nicholas. From Childhood to Chivalry: The Education of the English Kings and Aristocracy 1066-1530. London & New York: Methuen, 1984.
  • Park, Katerine and Robert A. Nye, "Destiny is Anatomy: Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud by Thomas Laqueur." The New Republic 53 (Feb. 1, 1991): 53-57.
  • Vincent of Beauvais. De Eruditione Filiorum Nobilium . Ed. Arpad Steiner. Cambridge, MA: Medieval Academy of America, 1938.
  • Women's Secrets: A Translation of Pseudo-Albertus Magnus' De Secretis Mulierum with Commentaries. Trans. Helen Rodnite Lemay. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.

1  Julia Kristeva, About Chinese Women , trans. Anita Barrows (New York: Urizen Books, 1977), 15. Originally published in Paris in 1974. The translator's note on jouissance is more or less apt: "This word, for which there is no suitable English equivalent, is used in psychoanalytic contexts to mean the simultaneously organic and symbolic sexual pleasure of the speaking (human) subject." But I would have said orgasmic for organic.

2  "por cen que vos ... peüssiez gouvernier vostre reaume selon loy et reson, non pas mauvese volonté ne par mauves movemenz."

3  "Li livre de gouvernier les cités, que l'en apele Politique, nos enseigne, que toutes seignoeies ne durent pas tant l'une comme l'autre, ne touz les governemenz des princes ne des seignories durent par I an, auquuns par la vie d'un homme, auquunes seignories sont, qui puent durer touz jors en aucune maniere par heritage et par succession de lor heirs. Dont cil qui desirre(nt) la seignorie a fere durer et en soi et en ses hers, il doit diligeument enyendre a cen que il ait maniere naturel en gouvernier son peuple. Et por cen que nature proeve que chose qui est fete a force et contre nature ne peut durer touz jorz, et nl n'est naturel gouvernierre, se il covoite a seignrer par mauvese volunté ou par aucun mauveis desirrer, car tele seignorie est a force at contre nature. Mais cil est gouverneur naturel, qui n'establist ne ne commande for cen que loy et reson enseignent."

4  He also characterizes rulers who neglect martial skills and dare not defend their realm as "feminine:" Giles of Rome II/II ch. 18, 224).

5  Jean Gagné, "L'Erotisme dans la musique médiévale," in Bruno Roy ed., L'Erotisme au moyen âge: Etudes pré sentées au troisième colloque de l'Institut d'études médiévales (Montreal: Aurore, 1977), 90.

6  The Speculum issue was discussed at special sessions of three national meetings during the year--The American Historical Association, The Medieval Academy of America, and the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, and I was invited to defend the issue in a seminar run by the Medieval Studies Department at Harvard. My multivalent interpretations have been too easily characterized in print as "didactic or allegorical" (Sandler 1996, 87, 98, n. 9), or purely "sexual" instead of also gynecological (Guest, 168).

7  Chastity and fecundity, epitomized in the Virgin Mary, were urged on English queens at the time of their coronations in this period: John Carmi Parsons, "The Pregnant Queen as Counsellor and the Medieval Construction of Motherhood," in Medieval Mothering , ed. John Carmi Parsons and Bonnie Wheeler (New York: Garland, 1996), 42.

8  Michel Foucault, Histoire de sexualité , 3 vols. (Paris, 1976); trans. Robert Hurley, The History of Sexuality (Harmondsworth, 1985 ), esp. vol. 2, The Use of Pleasure . An excellent synopsis and provocative discussion was offered at the same time by Eva Kosofsky Sedgwick, "Gender Criticism," in Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies , ed. Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn (New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1992), 281- 93. See also J. Murrya and K. Eisenbichler, ed., Desire and Discipline: Sex and Sexuality in the Premodern West (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996).

9  Marie-Christine Pouchelle, The Body and Surgery in the Middle Ages , trans. Rosemary Morris (Cambridge: Polity Press in association with B. Blackwell, Oxford, 1990), 182-83, citing Henri de Mondeville's treatise on surgery, written at the French court between 1306 and 1320. Children in Paris in the next century chanted "What a cough you've caught in the cunt, old girl." Forberg II, 61 cites the Epigrams of Apheus which plays on kissing two kinds of lips, labra ora and labra cunni.

10  Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and his World , trans. with an introduction by Helene Iswolsky (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 1968), esp. 96, 121; Caviness, 1993, 57-58 & 179; cf. Schapiro, 197.

11  In addition to the sources I cited in 1993, I would add the general treatment of jokes in social context by Mary Douglas, Implicit Meanings: Essays in Anthropology (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975), 90-114.

12  Kathryn Gradval, Ravishing Maidens: Writing Rape in Medieval French Literature and Law (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991), 104-109.

13  Cited by John Baldwin, The Language of Sex: Five Voices from Northern France around 1200 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994), 66.

14  For a more recent study of the documents concerning the trials of the Templars leading to the conclusion that most did not engage in homosexual acts: Anne Gilmour-Bryson, "Sodomy and the Knights Templar," Journal of the History of Sexuality 7 (1996): 151-83.

15  Jeffrey Richards, Sex, Dissidence and Damnation: Minority Groups in the Middle Ages (London: Routledge, 1991), 35, quotes Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles of the fifteenth century in which a new husband is worn out by the "joustings" when he consummates his marriage.

16  Lucien Clare, "Une redevance ludique: La quintaine 'gothique' des nouveaux mariés et des artisans," in Les jeux de la renaissance Actes du XXIIIe colloque international d'études humanistes, ed. Philippe Ariès and Jean-Claude Margoulin (Paris, 1980): 383-404. An illustration or quintain is in L'histoire du Graal by Robert de Borron, ca. 1280, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS fr. 95, f. 273; see Porcher, 32, # 57, pl. X.

17  Nicholas James Perella, The Kiss Sacred and Profane: An Interpretive History of Kiss Symbolism and Related Religio-Erotic Themes (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969), 41-42.

18  Michael Camille, "Laboring for the Lord: The Ploughman and the Social Order in the Luttrell Psalter," Art History 10 (1987): 423-54.

19  I had referred to Jonathan Culler's section on "Reading as a Woman," in his On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1982), 42-64. Unfortunately, at the time of that writing, I did not yet have Krueger's remarkably clear statement of the problem, with other sources. For Sandler, the problem was not theoretical, but a case of mistaking a new historicist stance (I tell the reader who I am as well as who Jeanne d'Evreux was in order to assess alterity) for mere subjectivity.

20  My interlocutors in the Harvard Medieval Studies seminar did not, I think, mean to ask whether I could situate myself as a male reader (implying a humbler question, could they as men situate themselves as women reading), but rather that the female model could not be said to work unless there was a demonstrable equivalent for men. Sandler raises a similar objection: "if marginal imagery was intended to school Jeanne d'Evreux in appropriate female behavior, then the monsters in the margins of the Luttrell Psalter could have served to reinforce Geoffrey Luttrell's sense of his own masculinity." It must be obvious from chapter 2 that so much hypervirility would curtail their sexual activity, constructing them as "good men."

21  Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, "Gender Criticism," in Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies , ed. Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn, New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1992, 271-72.

22  Preliminary findings were presented at the International Conference of Medieval Archaeology in York (UK) in September 1992.

23  M.H. Caviness, "No laughing matter: Imag(in)ing Chimeras and Freaks around 1300," Festschrift for Lech Kalinowski , (Cracow: in press).

24  Caviness, 1996, 106, 130-31, 135-36, 142-43. There was perhaps a concerted effort in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries on the part of mothers, following the role of St. Anne, to teach their daughters to read: Pamela Sheingorn, "'The Wise Mother': The Image of St. Anne Teaching the Virgin Mary," Gesta 32 (1993): 69-80. Yet, like Saenger, I am not so sure they did more than pronounce the words of their prayer books in Latin: Paul Saenger, "Books of Hours and the Reading Habits of the Later Middle Ages," in The Culture of Print: Power and the Uses of Print in Early Modern Europe , ed. Roger Chartier, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989), 141-73.

25  Jennifer R. Goodman, "'That Wommen holde in ful greet reverence:' Mothers and Daughters reading chivalric romances," in Women, The Book and the Worldly , ed. Lesley Smith and Jane H. M. Taylor (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1995), 25-30.

26  Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, MS 11053-54: Morand, 46, Pl. XXXId. This small book is illustrated with the birth and life of Christ in neat rectilinear frames dispersed through the text, and simple bar frames most often terminate with wyvern's heads. The scenes are exquisitely and richly colored, though more muted in the Passion cycle. The style is a rather hard version of Pucelle's, typical of Parisina production after his death.

27  Hillgarth also includes a great deal of information on the holdings of Clemence of Hungary, and of Jeanne d'Evreux.

28  A copy of the inventory of her movable goods is in Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Collection Clairambault MS 47, 1-95. Jeanne d'Evreux bought books (32-33), as well as jewelry (10). The inventory was published by P. Paris, "Livres de la reine Clémence, femme de Louis le Hutin, morte en 1328," Bulletin du Bibliophile: Petite Revue d'anciens livres , 2e. série, 18 (1837): 561-63. Her Ovide moralisé was bought by the king (562); it has been identified as Rouen, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 1044, by Carla Lord, "Three manuscripts of the Ovide Moralisé," Art Bulletin 57 (1975): 162-63. Jeanne also owned the famous Psalter of Saint Louis, Paris Bibliothèque Nationale MS Lat. 10525, that contains an inscription indicating that she gave it to Charles V in 1369: Porcher, 12-13.

29  Brigitte Buettner, "Profane Illuminations, Secular Illusions: Manuscripts in Late Medieval Courtly Society," Art Bulletin 74 (1992): 75-90.

30  Lillian M. C. Randall, " Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis (Edith G. Rosenwald Hours) [Paris, 1370s]," in Vision of a Collector: The Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection in the Library of Congress (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1991), 3, has commented on the frequency of donation of a book of hours to celebrate a betrothal or marriage, or sometimes a birth as in the case she is describing. Some destined for married couples might carry the messages concerning fertility and taboo that are in the women's books. An example is Baltimore, Walters Gallery, MS. 104, discussed below.

31  The stylistic and iconographic affinities of this group were noticed by Cockerell, and by P. Blanchard, Les Heures de Savoie: Facsimiles of Fifty-two pages from the Hours executed for Blanche of Burgundy, being all that is known to survive of the famous Fourteenth-Century MS., which was burnt at Turin in 1904 (London: Chiswick Press, 1910), 17. See also: Walter Cahn and James Marrow, "Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Yale: A Selection," The Yale University Gazette 52 (1978): 209-10; and Barbara A. Shailor, Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. vol. 2 (Binghamton, N.Y.: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Sudies, 1987), 254-57. Although I tabulated the motifs in this book of hours made between 1329 and 1348 for Blanche de Bourgogne, another granddaughter of St. Louis and the widow of Edward Count of Savoy (now in New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, MS 390), I have not included it in this study since the surviving part has very few marginalia. Blanche praying at an altar with a crucifixion on it (f. 25) is reproduced in Wieck, fig. 1.

32  Several of these books are discussed at length by Charles Sterling, La peinture médiévale à Paris 1300-1500 I (Paris: Bibliothèque des Arts, c. 1987), 70-118. I am inclined to agree with Sterling that Pucelle was probably a learned Dominican ( 74).

33  Lucy Freeman Sandler is among those who have included the Annunciation page of the Taymouth Hours in a discussion of Pucelle's stylistic influence: "A Pucelle Follower in England," Art Bulletin 52 (1970): 363-372. See also her good brief description of themanusecrpt: Luct Freeman Sandler, Gothic Manuscripts 1285-1385 II, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles (London: Harvey Miller, 1986), 107-9, # 98.

34  I was frustrated, for instance, to find that the Bible Historiale in Geneva, associated with the patronage of Philippe le Bel, has only one page in Pucelle's style, with dramatic below text marginalia that have no sequel in the main text: Geneva, Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire, MS fr. 2, f. 1; Morand, 40, Pl. XIV.

35  For the Breviary of Philippe le Bel, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale MS lat. 1023, see: Leroquais, Bréviaires II , 465-75, who, however, doubts the attribution. I noted dragons at the terminations of some foliate frames -- occasionally with human heads -- but no marginalia. For the Breviary of Charles V, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale MS lat. 1052, see Leroquais, Bréviaires III, 49-56, and Morand, 25-28. I recorded a very regular page layout with not-to-leafy frames and double columns; f. 7 is a rare page with many hybrids, and there are some chimeras with musical instruments elsewhere; the calendar depicts the nude male and female twins for Gemini that are in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, a warning against incest that is equally appropriate to a man.

36  New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MS L.1990.38 (currently exhibited at the Cloisters): Adeliade Bennett, "A Thirteenth-Century French Book of Hours for Marie," The Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 54 (1996): 21-50 (this manuscript is not to be confused with the "Book of Madame Marie," published by Alison Stones, Le Livre d'images de Madame Marie: Reproduction intégrale du manuscrit Nouvelles acquisitions françaises 16251 (Paris: Le Cerf, 1997). And New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, M729, studied by Ashley West in my seminar at the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute of Art in the spring of 1996. For the ownership and dating of this manuscript, see Karen Gould, The Psalter and Hours of Yolande of Soissons (Cambridge, MA: Medieval Academy of America, 1978), 3-11. Fighting knights, in both manuscripts, might refer to absent family members to be kept in mind during prayer.

37  Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, MS 21000: John Higgitt, The Murthly Hours: Devotion, Literacy and Luxury in Paris, England and the Gaelic West (London: The British Library, 2000), 154-59. He expresses surprise (p. 159) that there are not more female grotesques, ignoring my comment on the hours of Jeanne d'Exreux that male grotesques abound in women's books.

38  Bulletin du Bibliophile (as n. 17 above), 563.

39  Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Collection Clairambault MS 47, p. 9: "Un beau psautier a lettres dor et dasur que le pape li donna" was bought by the king.

40  Geoffrey must be the monk represented in prayer in the Domine exaudi initial on f. 65, whereas a young woman praying to the Trinity on f. 74 may be a female relative: Lucy Freeman Sandler, The Peterborough Psalter , 110, figs. 328-29, however overlooks Clemence's ownership, cf. Avril & Lafaurie, no. 127, 63-64, who give the date of the gift to the nuncio as 1317.

41  Sara Lipton, "Jews, heretics, and the sign of the cat in the Bible Moralisée," Word & Image 8 (1992): 362-77.

42  Hares and rabbits are unstable or multivalent symbols in European culture, connoting fecundity, rejuvenation, love and/or lust in some contexts, meekness, purity and watchfulness in others: John V. Fleming, Bonaventure to Bellini (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), 60, 94; Herbert Friedmann, A Bestiary for St. Jerome (Washington, 1980), 286-8; Sylvie Beguin, "A Propos de la Sainte Conversation et de la Vierge au Lapin," in Tiziano e Venezia: Convengo internazionale di studi, Venezia, 1976 (Venice: N. Pozza, 1980), 479-84.

43  James Noel Adams. The Latin Sexual Vocabulary (London: Duckworth, 1982), "containers" 87-89. As now, bag (bulga) could be a metonyms for a woman, and other words (vas, vasculum, uter, uterculus, aruum) could refer to the womb.

44  A. G. Rigg, Gawain on Marriage: The Textual Tradition of the De Coniuge Non Ducenda with Critical Edition and Translation (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1986), 88-91.

45  As in the Psalter of Guy de Dampierre, f. 132v.

46  Used for instance by Hildegard of Bingen in a letter of ca. 1172, "Ad monachos Cistellensis:" Et facta est vox ex alto dicens: Convertite gladios suos in vaginas, ... et illi gladios suos in vaginas remiserunt," J.-B. Pitra, ed., Analecta Sanctae Hildegardis. Analecta Sacra Spicilegio Solesmensi 8 Monte Cassino (Parisiis: A. Jouby et Roger, 1882), 335. The double meaning was known, from a perusal of pre-modern sources, to Forberg, II, 82 n. 20.

47  Vulgate: "Sicut viator sitiens ad fontem os aperiet et ab omni aqua proxime bibet, et contra omnem palum sedebit et contra omnem sagittam aperiet pharetram donec deficiat."

48  Forberg, II, 82 n. 20 lists many such instruments among euphemisms for the penis, including the lance (coleata), pike (hasta), javelin (pilum), tree (pomum), shaft (scapus), and verge (virga) that are all found in marginalia.

49  Winternitz, though he introduced the marginalia in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux in terms of the conjunction of the sacred with sin, sex, and the devil (quoted below), described the musical instruments listed here in purely performative terms. For the connotations of the bagpipes see also: E. A. Block, Chaucer's Millers and their Bagpipes," Speculum 29 (1954): 239-43. In antiquity, bells were hung from phallic lamps, like wind chimes: George Ryley Scott, Phallic Worship: A History of Sex and Sex Rites in Relation to the Religions of all Races from Antiquity to the Present Day (New Delhi: Amarko Book Agency, 1975, Pl. IV.

50  Dorothy and Henry Kraus, The Gothic Choirstalls of Spain (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986), 75, fig. 28; H. J. E. van Beuningen and A. M. Koldeweij, Sacred and Profane: 1000 Late Medieval Badges (Rotterdam: 1993), illus. p. 6. Another badge shows a bagpiper with a drunkard, fig. 25.

51  The Exeter Book contains a riddle that describes how bellows are "huge and swollen, handled by a servant," disgorge, and "Then rise and fill with second breath To sire a son and father self:" Craig Williamson, trans., A Feast of Creatures: Anglo-Saxon Riddle-Songs (Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982), 95, # 35. Hildegard of Bingen associated sexual arousal with wind, which built up in a man because it was concentrated in the genitals, thus enlarging the testicles which then operated like bellows (Cadden, 1984,157).

52  As with chimeras, rough music had been invoked as an instrument of the devil much earlier, warning against lust: One of the twelfth-century capitals in the Church of the Madeleine in Vézélay shows a musician in a short tunic with lute and horn who blows in the face of a flame-haired demon, inciting him to fondle a naked woman's breast: Luther Link, The Devil: The Archfiend in Art From the Sixth to the Sixteenth Century (New York: Harry Abrams, 1995), 51-2, fig. 12.

53  Reinhold Hammerstein, Diabolus in musica: Studien zur Ikonographie der Musik im Mittelalter (Berne and Munich: Francke, 1974), pls. 18, 93, 154, 157-59, 164, 168, 169, 173, 175, 178, 183, 191, 192, 194. Also Winternitz, 76-78, fig 10, who comments on the demonic horns and black hair of the Bock as it was developed in sixteenth-century Germany, and illustrates a woodblock print that inverts the relationship in that a chimera plays a bagpipes made from a monk's head.

54  Meyer Schapiro, "'Cain's Jawbone That Did the First Murder,'" Late Antique, Early Christian and Medieval Art: Selected Papers (New York: George Braziller, 1979), 249-65, firt published in 1942, pointed out that the ass's jaw was appropriated from Samson to murder Abel in medieval iconographies.

55  The negative associations of animal names extends to other cultures, as observed by the anthropologist Edmund Leach, "Anthropological Aspects of Language: Animal categories and verbal abuse," in New Directions in the Study of Language (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1964), 23-63.

56  Limestone statue (71.15) attributed to Normandy, early fourteenth century by Jack Schrader and John Minor Wisdom, in The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: A Guide to the Collection, introduction by William C. Agee (Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts, 1981), 19, # 32, illus. They comment that "it is almost inconceivable that no religious meaning was intended."

57  However hunting and hawking are mentioned as pastimes by Jennifer Ward, Noblewomen, 73-74. Higgitt, The Murthly Hours p. 158, fig. 96, claims an elegantly dressed lady with leashed hounds in the Alphonso Psalter is connected to the hunted deer that she watches, but the magnificant stag clearly resonates with the line above: et conculcet in terra vitam meam et gloriam meam in pulverem deducat (you have trampled my lefe to the earth and reduced my glory to dust).

58  New York, Public Library, MS Spencer 57, f.42v: Suzanne Lewis, "The Apocalypse of Isabellela of France: Paris, Bibl. Nat. MS fr. 13096," Art Bulletin 72 (1990): 254-55, fig. 47.

59  This is to assume a moralizing context. Whether or not some beasts in the margins were thought to have amuletic powers we cannot know. One medieval inventory of ancient gem stones claimed that those engraved with "a stag, or a hunter or a dog or a hare" had "the power of curing demoniacs, lunatics, maniacs, and those fighting in the night, or the frenetic," as cited by Audrey L. Meaney, Anglo-Saxon Amulets and Curing Stones British Archaeological Reports British Series 96 (Oxford: B.A.R., 1981), 230, from T. Wright, "On Antiquarian Excavations and Researches in the Middle Ages," Archaeologica 30 (1844): 438-47.

60  Many scholars now concur that hybrid and deformed creatures conveyed evil. Hassig for instance establishes the semiotic of these forms from medieval texts. She convincingly interprets a bearded male grotesque in the Rutland Psalter as a vilified Jew.

61  Freak is the preferred term of Jennifer Ogden. I differ in these terms from the taxonomy offered by Sandler, 1981.

62  Harvey Nash, "Human/Animal Body Imagery: Judgment of Mythological Hybrid (Part-Human, Part-Animal) Figures," The Journal of General Psychology 103 (1980): 49-108.

63  Psalm 90 (91): "Thou shalt walk upon the asp and the basilisk; and thou shalt trample under foot the lion and the dragon."

64  Lewis Carroll: "Twas brillig and the slithy toves /Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;/ All mimsy were the borogroves, / And the mame raths outgrabe," from the Jaberwocky, in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Fund There illus. Peter Newell (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1902), 19-20; the illustration facing p. 20 shows a clawed chimera. Humpty Dumpty explained slithy as "lithe and slimy" (p. 120).

65  Jessie Poesch, "Revelation 11: 7 and Revelation 13: 1-10, Interelated Antichrist Imagery in Some English Apocalypse Manuscripts," in Art the Ape of Nature: Studies in Honor of H. W. Janson , ed. Moshe Barasch and Lucy Freeman Sandler (New York: Harry Abrams, 1981), 18-23, figs. 1-3, 8. The twelfth-century beast she illustrates, in the Liber Floridus of Lambert of Saint-Omer, has a long tail with a serpent's head.

66  Another manuscript made for a woman at the French court in the 1330s, perhaps Jeanne de Bourgogne, wife of Philippe VI de Valois, shows such a devil in a narratve scene, where he presides over a suicide; his bearded head has horns, and hairy arms and legs with human hands and feet appear under his long mantle: Gauthier de Coincy, Miracles de la Vierge, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS n. acq. Fr. 24541, F. 57v; see Porcher, 55-56, no. 113, pl. XIV.

67  Somewhat later, as in the Concordantiae Caritatis , named devils (and animals) were associated with the seven deadly sins. All are freaks, with hooves or claws for feet (one has fish tails), beaked or horned heads (one has a donkey head), and human arms, torsos and legs: William Voelkle, "Morgan Manuscript M. 1001: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Evil Ones," in Monsters and Demons in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds: Papers Presented in Honor of Edith Porada , ed. Ann E. Farkas, Prudence O. Harper and Evelyn B. Harrison (Mainz: Verlag Phillip von Zabern, 1987), 106, figs. 9-10. Voelkle is concerned here with illustrations to the seven penetential psalms.

68  Forberg, I, 172 and II, 82, quotes the use of cauda by Horace and Ausonius.

69  Herrad of Landesberg's Hortus Deliciarum seems to have been unique in the twelfth century in presenting the sirens in their narrative context, according to Thérèse McGuire, "Two Twelfth-Century Women and their Books," in Women and the Book: Assessing the Visual Evidence , ed. Lesley Smith and Jane H. M. Taylor (London: The British Library, 1996), 98 & 104, n.15.

70  John Gage, "Horatian Reminiscences in Two Twelfth-Century Art Critics," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 36 (1973): 359-60.

71  Durant Waite Robertson Jr., A Preface to Chaucer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963), 155.

72  Cited in Alcuin Blamires, Women Defamed, Women Defended (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 102. Blamires gives excerpts of similar texts, pp. 40-1, 102, 104-5, 195-96.

73  A further example of the other school of modern interpretation, these have been described as "joyously" carved "symbolizing the principle of Universal Fertility" in support of pre-Christian cults: Michael Harrison, The Roots of Witchcraft (Secaucus, N.J.: The Citadel Press, 1974), 33, fig. 37.

74  Nell Gifford Martin, "Vision and Violence in some Gothic Meditative Imagery, Studies in Iconography 17 (1996): 311-38, with bibliography including her U.N.C. dissertation (1995). I am grateful to her for a copy of that work.

75  Maidens with roses, caged love birds, viols, clappers, conies, and long plaited hair appear in the margins on ff. 57, 66, and 74 among others.

76  The line just above the picture is "tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos" -- "Then shall they lay calves upon thy altar."

77  For the romance source for some of these subjects, see: Louis Carolus-Barré, "Le Psautier de Peterborough et ses miniatures profanes empruntées du romn de Phillipe de Beaumanoir, 8216;Jehan et Blonde,216;Jehan et Blonde,'" Romania 71 (1950): 79-98.

78  Nicolai Rubinstein, "Political Ideas in Sienese Art: The Frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Taddeo di Bartolo in the Palazzo Pubblico," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 21 (1958): 179-207. Randolph Starn, Ambroggio Lorenzetti: The Palazzo Pubblico, Siena (New York: George Braziller, 1994), 48 and unnumbered pls. following. I am indebted to Karen Petersen for the last reference.

79  Fritz Saxl, "A Spiritual Encyclopaedia of the Later Middle Ages," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 5 (1942): 120, 126, pl. 31. Michael Evans, "Laster," in Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie: Allgemeine Ikonograpie 3, ed. Engelbert Kirschbaum (Rome: Herder, 1971), col. 26; also Michael W. Evans, Medieval Drawings (London: Paul Hamlyn, 1969), 39, pl. 116. For the example of 1414 and earlier versions, in Vienna, Staatsbibliothek, Cod. 370, and Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, MS. Helmst. 2o f.35a, see: Henrik Cornell, "Neue Forschungen zur Geschichte des St. Benediktuskreuzes," Studien und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktinerordens 42 (1924): 1-9, figs. 1-2. The mistranslation Frau Welt stems from the label figura mundi, which I translate literally as "personification of worldliness." Cornell's gynephobia is evident when he can refers to other such representations as "her sisters;" we have seen that the very similar figure in the Hours of Jeanne de Navarre is male.

80  Lo Duca, Die Erotik in der Kunst (with an introductory essay by Georges Bataille), (Munich: Verlag Kurt Desch, 1965), 199-200, figs. 189-98.

81  Jean-Louis Flandrin, Un temps pour embrasser: Aux origines de la morale sexuelle occidentale (VIe-Xie siècle) (Paris: Éditions du Seuil , 1983), 42-55; Pierre J. Payer, Sex and the Penitentials: The Formation and Transmission of a Sexual Code, 550-1150 (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1984), appendix B and 19-30.

82  For the widespread connotations of evil and shame associated with riding backwards, usually on an ass or a ram, see Ruth Mellinkoff, "Riding Backwards: Theme of Humiliation and Symbol of Evil," Viator 4 (1973): 153-76, esp. 155-56, 163, 166-73, figs. 5-17, for western medieval examples, including a Jew riding a chimera.

83  Marie-Helène Huët, "Living Images: Monstrosity and Representation," Representations 4 (1983): 73-87. A variant in the Rothschild Canticles of ca. 1300 shows Adam instructing his daughters not to eat certain herbs, because they will have grotesque offspring: New Haven, Yale University, Beineke Library, MS. 404, ff. 113r, 113v. 114v.

84  Otto Fenichel, "The Scoptophilic Instinct and Identification," in The Collected Papers of Otto Fenichel. First Series (New York: Norton, 1945), 389. First published in 1935.

85  Laqueur conflated these into a unitary "one-sex" system (Laqueur, 4, 8, 19-20, 25-62). His over-simplification was critiqued by Park and Nye.

86  Nikolaus M. Häring, Commentaries on Boethius by Thierry of Chartres and his School (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1971), 96 ll, 34-36.

87  An essay that in some ways complements this section, with greater emphasis on theological writings, is by Jacqueline Murray, "Thinking about Gender: The Diversity of Medieval Perspectives," in Power of the Weak: Studies on Medieval Women , ed. Jennifer Carpenter and Sally-Beth MacLean (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1995), 1-26; Her bibliography and theoretical base were, however, already outdated.

88  A useful synopsis of his tenets is given by Eva C. Keuls, The Reign of the Phallus: Sexual Politics in Ancient Athens (New York: Harper & Row, 1985), 144-45. Nicole Loraux, The Children of Athena: Athenian Ideas about Citizenship & the Division between the Sexes , trans. Caroline Levine (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 85-86, noted that Aristotle took it as a given that daughters resemble their mothers. Her chapter 2, "On the Race of Women and some of its Tribes," 72-110, is an excellent guide to the mythology that must have informed even Aristotle's "scientific" writings.

89  Allen, 83-126, culled far more Aristotelian writings, but insisted on finding only a concept of "sex polarity" whereby the different character traits of women and men were aligned with irrevocable natural differences. She noticed, however, that he deliberated the relationship between natural and chosen behaviors in his Ethics (119).

90  Sonia Hawkes and Calvin Welles, "Crime and Punishment in an Anglo-Saxon Cemetry?" Antiquity 49 (1975): 118-22.

91  Warner of Rouen, Moriuht, ed. and trans. Christopher J. McDonough, Studies and Texts 121 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1995), 80-81, 145. Burial alive was in fact used as a punishment for women (though probably not for rape victims) in the middle ages, with the excuse that it was a more modest method than the public hanging meted out on men: Shulamith Shahar, The Fourth Estate: A History of Women in the Middle Ages , trans. Chaya Galai (London: Methuen, 1983), 19-21 (she noted that women preferred hanging as a means of suicide).

92  Quoted by Marina Warner, Alone of all her Sex: The Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary (New York: Knopf, 1976), 73, citing his Commentary on the Epistle to Ephesus; she also cites similar statements by Ambrose and Methodius of Olympus.

93  Among the latest examples of male power accorded to virgins was the custom of the Klementi tribe of Albania that allowed a girl to live as a man if she vowed before twelve witnesses never to marry; a case was documented in 1910 (Feinberg, 32-33).

94  For an excellent collection of Christian texts on women, see Alcuin Blamires, ed., Woman Defamed and Woman Defended: An Anthology of Medieval Texts (Oxford: Oxford Clarendon Press, 1992). For Old Norse notions of sex/gender difference, see Carol Clover, "Regardless of Sex: Men, Women, and Power in Early Northern Europe," in Studying Medieval Women: Sex, Gender, Feminism , ed. Nancy F. Partner (Cambridge, MA: Medieval Academy of America, 1993), 61-85.

95  Karl Marx was to rigidify these gender-based labor distinctions by assigning exchange value to most male production, and use value to domestic production.

96  For an overview of the problems caused to men by medieval constructions of their sexuality see: Vern L. Bullough, "On Being Male in the Middle Ages," in Medieval Masculinities: Regarding Men in the Middle Ages , ed. Clare A. Lees (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 31-45.

97  My phrasing owes much here to Eric S. Mallin, "Emulous Factions and the Collapse of Chivalry: Troilus and Cressida ," Representations 29 (Winter 1990): 163.

98  Barbara Newman, Sister of Wisdom: St. Hildegard's Theology of the Feminine (Berkeley: University of Calfornia Press, 1997), 42-50.

99  Barbara Newman, From Virile Woman to WomanChrist: Studies in Medieval Religion and Literature (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), 198-209, fig. 2.

100  Shahar, Fourth Estate , 8, 252.

101  Caroline Bynum, Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982), 110-69.

102  Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 23, f. 33v, reproduced in Christine Fell, Cecily Clark, and Elizabeth Williams, Women in Anglo-Saxon England and the Impact of 1066 (Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 1984), fig. 42. The MS was probably produced in Christ Church, Canterbury in the late 10th century; see Elzbieta Temple, Anglo Saxon Manuscripts, 900-1066. A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles (London: Harvey Miller, 1976), 69-70, # 48.

103  Caviness, 1996, 117-20, fig. 14; Herrad of Landsberg, Hortus Deliciarum , ed. Rosalie Green, et al. (London: Warburg Institute, 1979), pls. 43-52 (virtues as women warriors).

104  Pamela Sheingorn, "The Virtues of Hildegard's Ordo Virtutem ; or, It Was a Woman's World," in The Ordo Virtutem of Hildegard of Bingen: Critical Studies , ed. Audrey Ekdahl Davidson (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute, 1992), 47-48.

105  Most recent of this serious scholarly genre is Joan M. Ferrante, To the Glory of Her Sex (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1997). A popularizing version is Vicki Leòn, Uppity Women of Medieval Times (New York: MJF Books, 1997).

106  Marjorie Chibnall, The Empress Matilda: Queen Consort, Queen Mother and Lady of the English (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991). Agnes is discussed in Chapter 1 above.

107  I deliberately refer to Feinberg's account because it destabilizes the usual view that she was a pawn in an Anglo-French war. He relies on a range of primary and secondary sources, including W. S. Scott, trans., The Trial of Joan of Arc: Being the verbatim report of the proceedings from the Orleans Manuscript (Westport, CT: Associated Booksellers, 1956).

108  David Hurlihy, Medieval Households (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985), 92-98.

109  Jennifer C. Ward, English Noble Women in the Later Middle Ages (London: Longman, 1992), 36-39, who, however, does not note any increased tendency to contest widows' rights in the late middle ages, rather the reverse.

110  H. R. Luard, ed., Mathaei Parisiensis Monachi Sancti Albani Chronica Majora , Rolls Series, no. 57, vol. 5, (London: Longman & Co., 1880), 354. So too, Abbess Ela, Countess of Salisbury, was said to have ruled her monastery for women "not at all effeminately," although a mother: Richard Vaughan, ed. and trans., Chronicles of Matthew Paris: Monastic Life in the Thirteenth Century (Gloucester: Alan Sutton, 1986), 259.

111  Shahar, Fourth Estate, 11; Ward, Noblewomen , 38. For Mahaut: Paul Lehugeur, Histoire de Philippe le Long, Roi de France (1316-1322) , vol. 1 (Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1897), 61-72. Saxon customary law, written down in Latin and Middle High German in the thirteenth century and widely disseminated on the continent, forbad a widow to keep her husband's arms and horse; they must be relinquished immediately to the nearest male heir: Marie de Bozy, trans., The Saxon Mirror [Sachsenspiegel] (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), Bk. I, 22, p 76.

112  The language of this lengthy poem, and its play with absence and presence, nature and culture, are analyzed by Kate Mason Cooper, "Elle and L: Sexualized Textuality in Le Roman de Silence ," Romance Notes 25 (1985): 341-60.

113  Shahar, Fourth Estate , 9.

114  Quoted by Mallin, "Emulus Factions," 163.

115  For the canonization process, with which the illuminated recension of her Liber Divinorum Operum Simplicis Hominis (Lucca, Biblioteca Governativa, MS 1942) may be associated, see: Rita Otto, "Zu den gotischen miniaturen einer Hildegardhandschrift in Lucca," Mainzer Zeitschrift , 71-72 (1976-77): 110-26.

116  Madeline H. Caviness, "Gender Symbolism and Text Image Relationships: Hildegard of Bingen's Scivias" in Translation Theory and Practice in the Middle Ages, ed. Jeanette Beer (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1997).

117  Penelope D. Johnson, Equal in Monastic Profession: Religious Women in Medieval France (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991); Caroline A.Bruzelius and Constance Berman, ed., "Monastic Architecture for Women," (special issue) Gesta 31/2 (1992).

118  Charles Jordain, "Mémoire sur l'education des femmes au moyen âge," in Mémoires de l'Institut National de France: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1974), 79-133.

119  Penny S. Gold, "The Marriage of Mary and Joseph in the Twelfth-Century Ideology of Marriage," in Bullough & Brundage, 1982, pp. 115-17.

120  James A. Brundage, "Adultery and Fornication: A Study in Legal Theology," in Bullough & Brundage, 1982, 129-34.

121  Elliott (14-15), in tracing the theological debate on marital sex, points out that there was some relaxation of the taboo against satisfying needs on holy days or in church, for instance by Albert the Great. The cautionary tales seem to reinstate the taboo.

122  George Henderson, "'Abraham genuit Isaac,'" Gesta 26 (1987): 127-39. For the women patrons' role in popularizing this iconography, see Caviness, 1996, 129-30, 133.

123  This included St. Anne, who figured in the genealogy of the Virgin from around 1200 on; in Kathleen Ashley and Pamela Sheingorn, ed., Interpreting Cultural Symbols: Saint Anne in Late Medieval Society (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1990), 11-15.

124  Sources are given in my notes. See also Georges Duby, The Knight, the Lady and the Priest: The Making of Modern Marriage in Medieval France , trans. Barbara Bray (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 28-29.

125  A large literature of devotional instruction for nuns is not relevant to my project, except to note its burgeoning in the same period as part of the curia monialium: Jeffrey F. Hamburger, The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany (New York: Zone Books, 1998), passim.

126  The genre had become known as a "mirror for princes," as in the overview by Wilhem Berges, Die Fürstenspiegel des hohen und späten Mittelalters. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Schriften des Reichsinstituts für ältere deutsche Geschichskunde, 2 (Leipzig: Verlag Karl W. Hirsemann, 1938); he, however, privileges the guides for male rulers, from Carolingian times on, and emphasizes their role in forming national identities.

127  The definition of three social "orders" as these are generally referred to in post-medieval times, oratores, bellatores, laboratores, was well established by about 1000 CE, as in the writings of Aelfric in England: J. Batany, "Le vocabulaire des catégories sociales chez quelques moralistes français vers 1200," in Ordres et Choses: coluque d'histoire sociale Saint-Cloud 24-25 mai 1967 , ed. D. Roche and C. E. Labrousse (Paris: Mouton, 1973), 69, with bibliography, and other essays in this collection.

128  Princeton University Library, Taylor Medieval MS 1: Adelaide H. Bennett, "A Book designed for a noblewoman: An Illustrated Manuel des Péchés.of the Thirteenth Century," in Medieval Book Production: Assessing the Evidence , ed. Linda L. Brownrigg (Los Altos Hills: privately printed, 1991), 163-18.

129  Published as "Les Reules Seynt Roberd," in Walter of Henley's Husbandry , ed. Elizabeth Lamond (London: Longmans, Green, 1890), 121-45. He was concerned that she learn to provision her household, entertain well, give alms, and especially, understand the duties of the men who carried out her plans for the productivity of the estates.

130  O'Connell, 1972, 52; 1979, 65-67. Vincent of Beauvais, 1938, xv-xvii. Vincent's De Morali Principis Insitutione of 1260-63, addressed directly to Louis IX, was more theoretical, according to O'Connell, 1979, 65-66. The summary given by Gabriel gives no indication of any attention paid to women as students, since it is concerned with the education of the ruling classes: Astrik L. Gabriel, The Educational Ideas of Vincent of Beauvais (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1956), 45-55. On the other hand, as he points out, a contemporary of Vincent who wrote a political treatise on securing the Holy Land, advocated educating women equally in natural science, surgery, and medicine (Gabriel, p. 41; he refers to Pierre Dubois, De recuperatione Terre Sancte , ed. C. V. Langlois (Paris, A. Picard, 1891), ch. 61, 50-52.

131  Rosemary Barton Tobin, Vincent de Beauvais's 'De eruditione filiorum nobilium': The Education of Women (New York: P. Lang, 1984), esp. chs. IV and V.

132  Chs. I-XLI prolong the theme set by the first heading: "De puerorum nobilium erudicione," whereas ch. XLII introduces the theme of the following nine chapters: "De puellarum custodia et absconsione" (Steiner, ed., ix-x).

133  Ed. O'Connell, 1972 & 1979. Both were entitled Enseignements in the manuscripts, though O'Connell's distinction between Teachings for the son and Instructions for the daughter capture some of the difference between them. He summarized the Instructions ( 69-74), and edited the French version ( 78-85). Another version of the instructions was published in the Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France 23 (1876): 132-33.

134  This comes from the later account (1302-1303) of Guillaume de Saint-Pathus; it is quoted by O'Connell, 1979, 24-25.

135  Also printed in Les Grandes Chroniques de France , 10, ed. Jules Viard (Paris: C. Klincksieck, 1953), 183-86. The text appears in a de luxe collection of devotional texts dating from 1330-40, with an illustration of St. Louis teaching his son: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS nouv. acq. fr. 4338, ff. 113v-120v. See: Avril & Lafaurie, no. 139, 73-74.

136  O'Connell, 1972, 56-60, especially paragraphs 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21-30, which are not in the Instructions.

137  Blanche's own richly illustrated copy is preserved in Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. Fr. 5716; see Porcher, 25, no. 37. By 1373 it was in the royal library in the Louvre.

138  Charles F. Briggs, "Manuscripts of Giles of Rome's De Regimine Principium in England, 1300-1500: A Handlist," Scriptorium 47 (1993): 60-73; Italian, English, and Hebrew were among the translations.

139  The importance of wives for child-bearing is mentioned several times (Giles of Rome, 167, 169-70). In the section on the education of girls, Giles constantly refers to "the Philosopher" (Aristotle), basing all his precepts on the "fact" that women have little sense or wisdom ( 225-30).

140  Shahar, Fourth Estate , xiii, quoting an unidentified "medieval travel book on the East."

141  For the text of the "good man" or menagier of Paris, see now: Tanya Bayard ed. A Medieval Home Companion (New York: Harper Collins, 1991).

142  Dorothy Gillerman, Enguerran de Marigny and the Church of Notre-Dame at Ecouis (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994), 12-16, gives a clear account of Jeanne de Navarre's devotional life and the instruction manuals available to her, noting her associations with Franciscans and the king's preference for Dominicans.

143  Hentsch, 30. See also: Léopold Delisle, "Durand de Champagne, Franciscain," Histoire Littéraire de la France, ouvrage commencé par des religieux bénédictins de la congrégation de Saint-Maur et continué par des membres de l'Institut 30 (Nendeld: Kraus Reprint 1971; orig. Paris, 1888), 311-25, who gives a detailed synopsis. The sole Latin manuscript is Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS lat. 6784, whereas Jeanne d'Exreux owned the French translation (p. 320).

144  The foundational study of these motifs, with an index of subjects, is Randall, 1966. In an article published that same year she also laid out many of the ways in which these motifs resonate for us and for a medieval audience: Lilian M. C. Randall, "Humour & Fantasy in the margins of an English Book of Hours," Apollo 84 no. 58 (Dec. 1966; special issue on The Walters Art Gallery): 62-8.

145  Robert G. Calkins, Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983), 207-225, Pls. 118-24; for a fuller treatment of the text traditions, see: Victor Leroquais, Les Psautiers manuscrits des Bibliothèques publiques de France I (Paris: Macon, Protat frères, 1940-41), xl-lxxi.

146  For descriptions of books of hours: Calkins, Illuminated Books , 243-83, pls.133 --58; John Harthan, Books of Hours and their Owners (London: Thames & Hudson, c1977), 14-19, 40-44; Wieck 9-23, 51-54, 79-80, 91-3, 99-102, 109-10117-18, 138-44. Claire Donovan, The de Brailes Hours: Shaping the Book of Hours in Thirteenth-Century Oxford (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991), looked at the development of the book of hours from the psalter.

147  Calkins, Illuminated Books , 226-34, pls. 125-28, uses the example of the Breviary of Charles V to describe this type of book for the Divine Office. See also Victor Leroquais, Les Bréviares manuscrits des Bibliothèques publiques de France I (Paris: Macon, Protat frères, 1933), cxviii-cxix.

148  Apart from the fundamental catalogue of subjects she published in 1966, Randall's numerous explorations of the serious theological or literary import of images in the margins helped to combat the prevailing view that they were merely playful (e.g. the articles published in 1957 and 1960).

149  Also independently, Laura Good Morelli and Renate Hedjuk, both students in my classes, noticed the examples of maternity and fecundity that were held up to Jeanne, emphasizing the queen's duty to provide a male heir. Attention has also been given to the old question of the attribution to Pucelle (and thereby, the identification of the owner as Jeanne): Michaela Kieger, "Die 'Heures de Jeanne d'Evreux' und das Pucelle-Problem," Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte 42 (1989): 101-32.

150  Farmer, 146-61, examines an embellishment added to a vernacular verse Life of St.Martin by Péan Gatineau of Tours between 1229 and 1250,concerning two female fools. One, modeled on St. Francis's mother, encourages her saintly son (Martin in this case) in giving away his father's property to the poor, the other is an adulteress who gives her sex (her husband's property) to a lover, and is eventually struck dead with her illegitimate infant by St. Martin. Both are described in various terms that denote foolishness (foolish, silly, imbecile, deranged etc.).

151  For their interpretation of the sheela-na-gig, the authors could enlist the earlier study of J. Andersen, The Witch on the Wall (London: Allen & Unwin, 1977). See also Patrick Ford, "The Which on the Wall: Obscenity Exposed in Early Ireland," in Obscenity: Social Control and Artistic Creation in the European Middle Ages , (Cultures, Beliefs and Traditions 4), ed. Jan M. Ziolkowski (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 176-90.

152  Madeline H. Caviness, "Obscenity and alterity: Images that shock and offend us/them, now/then?" in Obscenity, 155-75.

153  The abject is discussed in my companion book, Visualizing Women in the Middle Ages: Sight, Spectacle and Scopic Economy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), chapter 3. To order:

154  For Kenaan-Kedar, the marginal corbels at the roof or ceiling lines of some French churches depict an array of low-class sinners and outcasts; yet she reads empathy in the sculptors' portrayals, rendering them "an artistic form of social criticism" (73, 128).

155  Also Frank Matthias Kammel, Das mittelalterliche Chorgestühl: Ein Bildtraktat von der Allgegenwart des Bösen (Berlin: Staatliche Museen, 1991); and Gisbert Porstmann, Das Chorgestühl des Magdeburger Domes: Ikonographie -- Stilgeschichte -- Deutung (Berlin: Lukas Verlag, 1993), esp. 62-64. Useful photographic surveys have been published by Dorothy and Henry Kraus, The Hidden World of Misericords (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975), and The Gothic Choirstalls of Spain (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986). The latter surveys the subjects represented (99) while resisting theological and moral interpretations such as those of Maeterlinck (71).

156  Susan L. Smith, The Power of Women: A Topos in Medieval Art and Literature (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), 16-19.

157  Jeffrey F. Hamberger, The Art Bulletin 75 (1993): 319-27; Madeline H. Caviness, Studies in Iconography 15 (1993): 265-70; Kathryn A. Smith, "Liminal Limning," The Oxford Art Journal 17 (1994): 92-96. And even in the Wall Street Journal (June 7, 1992), rare for serious humanities titles these days.

158  For reading Rorschachs, see: Richard Wollheim, "What the Spectator Sees," in Visual Theory: Painting and Interpretation , ed. Norman Bryson, Michael Ann Holly, and Keith Moxey (New York: HarperCollins, c1991), 109.

159  Caviness, Studies in Iconography 15 (1993), 269.

160  The manuscript, now in two parts as London, British Library, Add. MS. 36684, and New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, M 754) can be dated between 1318 (when one prayer was composed) and the 1330's (on the basis of style); the calendar localizes it in northeast France. It would be an interesting example to compare with the books tabulated here. Like the Psalter of Louis le Hutin it is from outside the Parisian orbit.

161  An earlier demonstration of such readings is that of S. K. Davenport, "Illustrations Direct and Oblique in the Margins of an Alexander Romance at Oxford," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 34 (1971): 83-95, who was at pains to disprove M. R. James's view that the scenes in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 264 (dated 1344) are largely irrelevant to the text. S/he also challenged the view that grotesques and the like could have no relevance to devotional texts (92-5).

162 Sandler does, however, note the "evil" aura of one grotesque (1996, fig. 24). Yet I would also claim that the "hybrid woman" emptying out a flask to demonstrate going down to the pit also resonates with the plea to the Lord to lead the soul out of hell, since her basilisk-body and cloven hooves are demonic, and the young man climbing up her tail is going to hell.

163  The article otherwise provides a useful correction to Eric Miller's view that the artist of the Luttrell Psalter was deranged, and sets up a well-observed taxonomy of hybrids. See now Michael Camille, Mirror in Parchment: The Luttrell Psalter and the Making of Medieval England (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1998).

164  Subjects from the bestiary also cluster around these Infancy scenes in a famous early fourteenth-century, as noted by Anne Rudloff Stanton, "Notes on the Codicology of the Queen Mary Psalter," Scriptorium 49 (1995): 252-53.

165  Lillian M. C. Randall, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1989), 142-45, no. 55.

166  I organized a session on "Affective Aspects of Medieval Art," at the College Art Association, of America, 75th Annual Meeting, Boston, February, 1987, with a view to writing a book on the subject. Several of the papers from that session were subsequently published: Michael Camille, The Gothic idol : Ideology and Image-making in Medieval Art (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Conrad Rudolph, " The Things of Greater Importance:" Bernard of Clairvaux's Apologia and the Medieval Attitude Toward Art (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990). See also David Freedberg, The Power of Images : Studies in the History and Theory of Response (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989).

167  Brief discussions of this point are in Caviness, 1996, 105-7; and Caviness, Stained Glass. Typologie des Sources du Moyen Age Occidental, 76 (Tournhout: Brepols, 1996), 58-62.

168  The point is brilliantly argued for traditional African arts by Moni Adams, Designs for Living: Symbolic Communication in African Art (Cambridge, MA: The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 1982), 9-10, with the summary statement: "Non-industrialized African societies, like similar societies elsewhere, use artistic effort to address problems in the sphere of production" (the emphasis is hers).

169  I agree with Mary Carruthers in ascribing considerable affective power to marginalia, and in the assumption that the bizarre repertory of motifs enhanced memory: Mary J. Carruthers, The Book of Memory: A Study in Medieval Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 245-48. Yet not all vases are the vessel of memory, nor are all birds thoughts and memories; I doubt that marginalia reference memory as frequently as she supposes.

170  A Flemish book of hours of about 1300,made for a noble woman, emphasizes the need of prayers to the Virgin to keep the reader free of temptation and reinforces this by numerous scenes of a two-faced devil tempting her: Adelaide Bennett, "A Woman's Power of Prayer versus the Devil in a Book of Hours of ca. 1300," in Image and Belief: Studies in Celebration of the Eightieth Anniversary of the Index of Christian Art , ed. Colum Hourihane (Princeton: Index of Christian Art, 1999): 89-108, figs 5-10. Her case would have been even stronger had she not perseverated in interpreting rough music in the margins as "stressing the pleasantries of every day life" (p. 92).

171  For yet other examples see: Michael Camille, "Obscenity under Erasure: Censorship in Medieval Illuminated Manuscrits," in Obscenity: Social Control and Artistic Creation in the European Middle Ages (Cultures, Beliefs and Traditions 4), ed. Jan M. Ziolkowski (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 139-54.