Ennobling Love In Search of a Lost Sensibility

ISBN-10: 0812216911

ISBN-13: 9780812216912

Edition: 1999

Authors: C. Stephen Jaeger

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"Richard, Duke of Aquitaine, son of the King of England, remained with Philip, the King of France, who so honored him for so long that they ate every day at the same table and from the same dish, and at night their beds did not separate them. And the King of France loved him as his own soul; and they loved each other so much that the King of England was absolutely astonished at the vehement love between them and marveled at what it could mean." Public avowals of love between men were common from antiquity through the Middle Ages. What do these expressions leave to interpretation? An extraordinary amount, as Stephen Jaeger demonstrates. Unlike current efforts to read medieval culture through modern mores, Stephen Jaeger contends that love and sex in the Middle Ages relate to each other very differently than in the postmedieval period. Love was not only a mode of feeling and desiring, or an exclusively private sentiment, but a way of behaving and a social ideal. It was a form of aristocratic self-representation, its social function to show forth virtue in lovers, to raise their inner worth, to increase their honor and enhance their reputation. To judge from the number of royal love relationships documented, it seems normal, rather than exceptional, that a king loved his favorites, and the courtiers and advisors, clerical and lay, loved their superiors and each other. Jaeger makes an elaborate, accessible, and certain to be controversial, case for the centrality of friendship and love as aristocratic lay, clerical, and monastic ideals. Ennobling Love is a magisterial work, a book that charts the social constructions of passion and sexuality in our own times, no less than in the Middle Ages.
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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication date: 7/18/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 328
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

C. Stephen Jaeger is Professor of Germanics and Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. He is the author of The Origins of Courtliness: Civilizing Trends and the Formation of Courtly Ideals, 939-1210, and The Envy of Angels: Cathedral Schools and Social Ideals in Medieval Europe, 950-1200, all available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Introduction: Cordelia on Trial
Charismatic Love and Friendship
Problems of Reading the Language of Passionate Friendship
Virtue and Ennobling Love (1): Antiquity and Early Christianity
Love of King and Court
Love, Friendship, and Virtue in Pre-Courtly Literature
Love in Education, Education in Love
Sublime Love
Sublime Love
Love Beyond the Body
Sleeping and Eating Together
Eros Denied, Eros Defied
Virtue and Ennobling Love (2): Value, Worth, Reputation
Unsolvable Problems -- Romantic Solutions: The Romantic Dilemma
The Epistolae duorum amantium, Heloise, and Her Orbit
The Loves of Christina of Markyate
Virtuous Chastity, Virtuous Passion -- Romantic Solutions in Two Courtly Epics
The Grand Amatory Mode of the Noble Life
English Translations of Selected Texts
Alcuin, one letter and three poems
Hildesheim Letter, Epist. 36, a master to his student
Letter of R. of Mainz to the students of the Worms cathedral school
Baudri of Bourgueil, poem to a haughty boy
Marbod of Rennes, "On the Good Woman," from the Book of Ten Chapters
From the Regensburg Love Songs (No. 28)
From the "Letters of Two Lovers" (Epistolae duorum amantium)
"Metamorphosis Goliae"
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