Review by Choice Review
This collection of informed and original essays offers contextual and analytical discussions of Hrotsvit's Latin writings in relation to their historical and intellectual environments. Bringing together the work of 16 US scholars who participated in a 1997 NEH Summer Institute, Wilson (Univ. of Georgia) describes the volume as a "cohesive, organic, and quite comprehensive investigation into Hrotsvit's art, her voice, and her world across the centuries." The essays themselves substantiate this description. Wilson groups the essays into four sections: "Constructing a Context," "Forming Identities," "Creating Affinities," and "Conducting Performances." Individual contributions examine the historical, cultural, legal, and political contexts of Hrotsvit's opus (two epics, eight legends, and six plays) and elucidate her own aesthetic and intellectual accomplishments. Topics include, for instance, issues of royal succession in the epic Gesta Ottonis; desire and subjectivity in the legends Pelagius and Agnes; and parallels between Hrotsvit's Gallicanus and Old English epics. The collection will certainly appeal to devotees of this relatively minor but intriguing writer; it will also appeal to those whose interests extend to the aristocratic and clerical culture of 10th-century Germany ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. C. S. Cox University of Pittsburgh
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