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Author Topic: Love Cures: Healing and Love Magic in Old French Romance  (Read 2133 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Topic Start: June 22, 2010, 03:07:58 pm »

Title: Love Cures: Healing and Love Magic in Old French Romance
Author(s): Laine E. Doggett
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 0271035307
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

From The Medieval Review:
Love Cures is an analysis of several high medieval romances, Cliges, the Roman de Silence, Amadas and Ydoine, and a collection of closely related Tristan and Iseut narratives. The author is interested in the intersection of love, healing and love magic in selected romance texts and argues that representations of love are indebted to, in fact reflect, actual twelfth- and thirteenth- century empirical practices and cultural and societal realities, meaning "observable phenomena that audiences experienced" (4). She claims that in medieval society of the time women medics were "often well known and highly respected in their communities" (4) and argues, "The romances depict empirics in a manner consistent with the picture sketched by historians of medicine and magic" (262). A secondary theme of the book concerns the tension between love and court expectations and how it plays out in marriage. She argues that the dynamic between love and "feudal" politics in romance texts gives female protagonists "choice" in marriage (31).

Read the full review at The Medieval Review web site.

Additional Description:
What is love? Popular culture bombards us with notions of the intoxicating capacities of love or of beguiling women who can bewitch or heal, to the point that it is easy to believe that such images are timeless and universal. Not so, argues Laine Doggett in Love Cures. Aspects of love that are expressed in pop music—such as love is a drug, sexual healing, and love potion number nine —trace deep roots to Old French romance of the high Middle Ages. A young woman heals a poisoned knight. A mother prepares a love potion for a daughter who will marry a stranger in a faraway land. How can readers interpret such events? In contrast to scholars who have dismissed these women as fantasy figures or labeled them witches, Doggett looks at them in the light of medical and magical practices of the high Middle Ages. Love Curesargues that these practitioners, as represented in romance, have shaped modern notions of love. Love Cures seeks to engage scholars of love, marriage, and magic in disciplines as diverse as anthropology, philosophy, psychology, and religious studies.

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