Ravishing Maidens: Writing Rape in Medieval French Literature and Law

By Kathryn Gravdal | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

I wish to thank the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the Columbia University Council for Research in the Humanities for the liberal grants that afforded me the time to complete this book. To Jonathan Z. Fallet of the Columbia Office of Projects and Grants, I owe an inordinate debt of thanks for his unstinting efforts on behalf of this project and for his painstaking comments as it took shape.

My thanks to the Medieval and Renaissance Collegium of the University of Michigan, and especially to Guy Mermier, for the travel grants that enabled me to participate in James Brundage's seminar and carry out research at the Newberry Library. I wish to acknowledge with sincere appreciation Michael Riffaterre, who took this project seriously from the very outset, lending his support at several key points.

Parts of Chapters 4 and 5 were published in an earlier form in "Camouflaging Rape: The Rhetoric of Sexual Violence in the Medieval Pastourelle," The Romanic Review 74, 4 ( November 1985): 361-73, and "The Poetics of Rape Law in Medieval France," in Rape and Representation, edited by Lynn Higgins and Brenda Silver (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), and are reprinted with permission. The cover illustration is reprinted courtesy of the Biblioth`que Nationale, with the special assistance of Gabriel Haddad and Peter Schulman, who trudged across Paris several times to obtain it.

I am indebted to Daniel Alter, Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Cynthia Hahn, Geoff Loftus, and Eugene Vance for generously sharing their insights at critical moments in the elaboration of this book. My students are always an unfailing source of inspiration and I want to name Lynne Huffer in particular, who posed the liminal question of this study. Disa Gamberi, Lynn Higgins, Roberta Krueger, Richard Lockwood, Wendy Peek, Gale Sigal, and Brenda Silver extended gracious invitations to lecture and publish, which I was thankful to accept. Andrew Andersen, Laurie Postlewate, and E. B. Vitz were privileged interlocutors, perhaps especially when our interpretations differed.

-ix-

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