Dhuoda, Handbook for Her Warrior Son: Liber Manualis

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Cambridge University Press, 1998 M10 8 - 276 pages
This new edition of the Liber Manualis, a distinctive guidebook to conduct and survival in tumultuous times by a Carolingian mother for her adolescent son, provides the only complete translation in English accompanied by the Latin original. Revised Latin readings follow corrections proposed by recent scholars and reviewers of the authoritative Pierre Riché text. The volume's Introduction advances fresh views of Dhuoda's individuality and mindset, her possible models, and her intended readership, and places her handbook for the first time within the contexts of French and Germanic literary traditions. Explanatory references illuminate the life and work of this remarkable and well-educated ninth-century woman. Woven in the text is the name and voice of the strong mother, whose moral position remains unique in a patriarchal society. Often called the first Western treatise on childhood education, the Liber Manualis in this new edition, establishes Dhuoda's importance in a feminist and literary context. It embodies a striking story of the times, a mother's outspoken bidding to her son to come into his own as future householder, père de famille, and seignorial lord of his great estate. A mother's fear also runs throughout this personal chronicle of imminent loss, but, arguing as she does for the family's preeminence and right to their estate, her book eloquently stands as a symbolic genealogical replacement of that loss.--Back cover.

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Page 31 - R. Howard Bloch, Etymologies and Genealogies: A Literary Anthropology of the French Middle Ages (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983).

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