Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Serpent and the Rose: The Immaculate Conception and Hispanic Poetry in the Late Medieval Period

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Serpent and the Rose: The Immaculate Conception and Hispanic Poetry in the Late Medieval Period

Article excerpt

Lesley K Twomey, The Serpent and the Rose: The Immaculate Conception and Hispanic Poetry in the Late Medieval Period, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Traditions 132 (Leiden: Brill, 2008). xv + 309 pp. ISBN 978-90-04-16595-3. euro99.00/$ 1 29.00.

A comprehensive treatment of the debate surrounding the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in Castillan and Catalan literature and art has been long awaited. Since the completion of her doctorate on the Immaculate Conception in 1995, Leslie K Twomey has published a number of articles on the doctrine. In The Serpent and the Rose she seeks to remedy the lacuna in medieval Hispanic literature by pulling together strands of critical study of literary, artistic, and liturgical immaculist debates. This is done through contextual and close literary analysis of key sources such as the preguntas and respuestas of the Cancionero de Baena, the Cantigas de Santa Maria, Catalan certamens, Jaume Roig's Spill, and the poetry of Juan Tallante.

A foreword by Alan Deyermond is followed by ten chapters exploring the doctrine of the Conception of Mary. Each is divided into clear sections with a summary conclusion, and supported by footnotes and translations of sources. An extensive bibliography and invaluable index bring the book to a close. Having clearly set out her premiss in the introduction, Twomey dedicates each of the subsequent nine chapters to the exposition of the Marian debate. Chapter 2, 'Conception liturgies: in praise of the Rose', explores liturgical expression as divine, royal, and ecclesiastical authority. In the third chapter, 'Good and evil: theological dispute over Mary', Twomey follows the involvement of church figures in the international debate over the Immaculate Conception and the consequent advancement of the Immaculate Conception doctrine. …

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