Review Of "Saints' Lives And The Rhetoric Of Gender: Male And Female In Merovingian Hagiography" By J. Kitchen

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Published In



Recent scholarship has argued that the study of the lives of female medieval saints reveals a distinct form of female sanctity that only female hagiography has been able to articulate. John Kitchen (currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics and History at the Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton) challenges this view, at least as it applies to sixth-century France, by placing female hagiographic writings in the context of the hagiographic tradition as a whole. He examines in detail male writings about male saints, then male writing about female saints, and finally an especially notable biography of a female saint written by a woman. What Kitchen discovers is a far more complex picture of similarities and differences between the sanctity of male and female saints than is revealed by methodologies with a narrower focus. This is an important although controversial work for feminist as well as medieval studies. Recommended for upper-division undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and researchers.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

This document is currently not available here.