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Lucrece and Brutus: Glory in the Land of Tender Coming Soon

Composed of texts by Madeleine de Scudéry (1607–1701), primarily from Clélie (1654–1660), this volume focuses on the story of Lucretia, the Roman matron whose rape and suicide caused the downfall of the Roman monarchy. Broadly speaking, Scudéry’s goal is to contrast the enormous cultural contributions of women with their physical vulnerability and to propose an alternative to sexual violation charted on the Map of the Land of Tender. In Scudéry’s salon-like version of the tale, Lucrece and her beloved, Brutus, follow the path of tender friendship. Moreover, Scudéry contradicts history’s characterization of Lucrece as craving glory in the form of fame. Indeed, contrary to ancient sources, Lucrece’s glory will be her decision to sacrifice herself secretly for her tender friend.

"In this erudite and insightful work, Sharon Nell assembles and expertly translates passages from Madeleine de Scudéry’s corpus, illuminating the foundational story of Lucretia, a Roman matron who turns her rape by Sextus Tarquinius into an act of supreme heroism through her suicide, which ultimately causes the downfall of the Roman monarchy. Scudéry’s version of this story poetically intertwines two of the main cultural preoccupations of mid-seventeenthcentury France concerning women: female heroism and salon life, including the notion of tender friendship. Nell exposes the centrality of the Lucretia story which sparked debates about female glory and virtue originating in antiquity and continuing unabated through the seventeenth century, demonstrating that era’s intense preoccupation with the proper role of women."
-Aurora Wolfgang, Professor of French, Michigan State University

SHARON DIANE NELL is Professor of French and Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at St. Edward’s University. She co-edited and co-translated for the Other Voice series, with Aurora Wolfgang, Jacques Du Bosc, L’Honnête Femme: The Respectable Woman in Society and the New Collection of Letters and Responses by Contemporary Women (2014).

Composed of texts by Madeleine de Scudéry (1607–1701), primarily from Clélie (1654–1660), this volume focuses on the story of Lucretia, the Roman matron whose rape and suicide caused the downfall of the Roman monarchy. Broadly speaking, Scudéry’s goal is to contrast the enormous cultural contributions of women with their physical vulnerability and to propose an alternative to sexual violation charted on the Map of the Land of Tender. In Scudéry’s salon-like version of the tale, Lucrece and her beloved, Brutus, follow the path of tender friendship. Moreover, Scudéry contradicts his...

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book Details

  • Page Count:

    349 pages

  • Publication Year:

    2021

  • Publisher:

    Iter Press
  • Series:

    • The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series 84

Print

USD$ 59.95 ISBN 978-1-64959-022-0 Order Print Book
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