Cultural and Social History: Book Review – ‘Holy Motherhood: Gender, Dynasty and Visual Culture in the Later Middle Ages’, by Elizabeth L’Estrange

Examining late medieval depictions of birth and motherhood involving holy figures, especially those featuring Saint Anne (mother of the Virgin Mary) and the Holy Kinship (the extended family of Jesus), this study reassesses the nature of the female spectatorship of these images, focusing on a group of prayer books associated with the houses of Anjou and Brittany, and the women who used them. Posing ‘questions about genders, spectators, and reception’ (p. 8), this is an ambitious art-historical enquiry

Literary Encyclopedia: Lucie Delarue-Mardrus

Born to a wealthy Catholic family in Honfleur, Normandy, Lucie Delarue-Mardrus was a prolific poet and novelist who became a leading light in Paris society during the années folles (the ‘Crazy Years’ of the 1920s). Although she thought of herself primarily as a poet, she produced over seventy full-length novels during her career and these romantic sagas were distinctive for their evocative descriptions of the landscape and people of her native Normandy

The Best of the Republic Blog: The female monarch

I have often heard it said that, whatever you think of the Queen, she has shown what women can achieve in a man’s world and should be recognised as a feminist icon. This has always struck me as bizarre, as the inherent sexism of the monarchy, alongside its intrinsically discriminatory nature, whether on the basis of race, sexuality, or simply not being part of the Windsor family, has always been at the heart of my republican principles