Figuring the feminine in the Bannatyne manuscript (c. 1568)
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date09/07/2020
Hinnie, Lucy Rhiannon
This thesis examines the Bannatyne manuscript (c. 1568) as a cultural repository of verse, and the significance of the representation of women and female voices in parts three and four which, this thesis argues, can be seen as a manifestation of the broader querelle des femmes debate. This focus has been hitherto occluded and circumvented by analyses which have focussed on less politically gendered themes, such as national identity or book history. In looking at the implications of the Bannatyne for medieval feminism, and considering poems often overlooked yet still critically useful, this thesis will argue that the Bannatyne is a text which not only deals with the implicit questions of the querelle des femmes, but also offers unique insight into the reception and understanding of this debate in Scotland at the time. The way in which the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, contemporary to the manuscript, influences and adapts the attitude towards women in the miscellany is of huge importance. By analysing the influence of Mary on the manuscript, we can observe how the querelle lives on in not just the inclusions, but also in the absences that comprise Bannatyne’s collection. Parts three and four of the manuscript will be discussed, where the subjects of comedy and love are the focus, and within both sections the key questions remain the same regarding a feminist reading of the anthology. Underpinning these questions are strong thematic overtures, related to material and historical circumstance such as: the nature of Bannatyne’s editing process, the influence of the Reformation, and the contemporary circulation of the manuscript. Bannatyne’s use of indexing and categorisation is a key indicator of his thematic concerns. Alongside consideration of the rhetoric of love, the nature of comedy, both in the Bannatyne manuscript and more broadly in anti-feminist rhetoric, is a prominent part of my interest in the latter, with close consideration paid to the economic politics of gender and class.