I was delighted to discover today that the Fall edition of Arthuriana has a review of my book -by the eminent Prof Russell A. Peck, no less. Given his edition of the Confessio Amantis is a go-to text in my office, I was eager (and nervous) to see what he’d said about it. Luckily, the review was very favourable! If you have access to Project Muse you can read the text here. Here’s an excerpt:
For the medieval period ‘fatherhood’ is an essential concept. Acknowledging that much has been written about patriarchy in the medieval world—its silent acceptance of such phrases as ‘God the father,’ the king as ‘father to his people,’ a priest as ‘father to his congregation,’ along with the preoccupation of its land owners and mercantile class with social position, inheritance, virginity, father-daughter incest, patricide, the role of paternal permission in marriage making, didactic literature on father-son relationships, etc., Rachel Moss’ superbly thought-through book on fatherhood addresses ‘an odd critical lacuna’ in medieval gender studies, namely, the exact role and nature of what ‘fatherhood’ means to the socially privileged. Medievalists have been ‘interested in the products and process of patriarchy, but they have very rarely been concerned with the lynchpin of the system, the father himself’ (7). Moss’ book fills admirably this gap in gender analysis through its juxtaposing of romance fiction with non-literary historical discourse.
It feels a little like boasting to publicise this here – but part of this blog is to boost my academic profile, so it would be silly to leave it off. I know that all academics are delighted by favourable reviews, but I think for junior academics they’re particularly heartening, because it can take us a long time to feel like we’re going anywhere. I know that the last couple of days I’ve found it hard to get my brain in gear and have generally felt a bit sluggish and unimaginative, so this was a very timely self-esteem boost. I shall now celebrate with a Lemsip, as I have started sneezing repeatedly. I’m not even teaching this term (aside from thesis supervisions and a couple of lectures) and yet there is no escape from freshers’ flu, right?
And as a final self-indulgent plug, you can buy the book here.