Oh come on!  To how many "legislators" of modern feminism do you really
pay intense attention?  If anything has become "politically correct" (though
a dumb and inaccurate term for anything I grant) it is the tired old cliche
that feminists have no sense of humor.  Most of my friends are feminists,
and I would lead a dreary life indeed if any of them were anything like the
drab, humorless images created by anyone who wants to dismiss ideas
before knowing them.  It's as bad as old tired 19th C cliches about
spinsters and schoolmarms" and just as absurd.

As I remember THE ART OF COURTLY LOVE, and I read it decades ago,
such romances did make women less brutalized.  They were hardly
feminist in any modern sense of that word, and it was not a word then.


Date sent:              Mon, 2 Dec 2002 21:48:50 -0800
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: What the word feminism means
To:                     [log in to unmask]

One of the definitive documents is Andreas Capellanus'
[Andrew the Chaplain's] THE ART OF COURTLY LOVE, whose
title is more accurately translated THE ART OF HONEST
[or HONOURABLE]LOVE ("De Arte Honeste amandi"). He wrote
it at the request of Marie de Champagne. It portrays the
court of E de A. Marie and Eleanor are closely associated
in the development and legislation of the rules for love
at court. I'm no expert. I could well believe there are
other contributing and complicating factors.

I gather the term courtly love is more of a 19th century
appelation, which certainly doesn't surprise me.

I guess I like Eleanor the best because she made the idea
of people honouring and respecting their realities (how-
ever they might violate their social formulae) fun! It is
robust and alive and enjoyable. Most of the modern legslators
of women's issues are so deadly serious and deadly dull.


Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
Camosun College
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
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-----Original Message-----
From: Jacqueline Pollard [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 9:24 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: What the word feminism means

Wasn't it actually her uncle who was one of the originators of the
tradition of courtly love? E of A acted as patron(ess) to a good number of
troubadours, but the genre was, as I recall, pretty well on its way
throughout Europe before she began to act as patron(ess). I think her
importance was in solidifying the *English* tradition. Perhaps I

Also, nearly the entire tradition of courtly love was deeply religious.
That can't be forgotten.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Montgomery" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 8:54 PM
Subject: Re: What the word feminism means

> From: Nancy Gish [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> I do note that Gerda Lerner does not discuss Eleanor of
> Aquitaine, and her history of "feminist consciousness" is extremely
> packed with specific women.  Why do you name her?
> ============================================== She is largely credited
> with originating the tradition of courtly love, and putting women on a
> pedestal. Her aim was to create a sense of respect for women amongst the
> rowdy knights (and company), who knew no such thing. It was really quite
> a successful strategy, and helped to create a whole literary tradition
> in the process. Many descriptons of Arthur's Guinever would seem to have
> been base on E de A.
> Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
> Dept. of English
> Camosun College
> 3100 Foul Bay Rd.
> Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
> [log in to unmask]