In Spirit More Than Flesh: Epistolary Codes, Friendship, and Social Networks in 8th Century Women’s Letters to St. Boniface

Date
2023
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Producer
Director
Performer
Choreographer
Costume Designer
Music
Videographer
Lighting Designer
Set Designer
Crew Member
Funder
Rehearsal Director
Concert Coordinator
Moderator
Panelist
Alternative Title
Department
Bryn Mawr College. Department of Classics
Type
Thesis
Original Format
Running Time
File Format
Place of Publication
Date Span
Copyright Date
Award
Language
eng
Note
Table of Contents
Terms of Use
Rights Holder
Access Restrictions
Open Access
Tripod URL
Identifier
Abstract
This thesis addresses the ways in which letters construct both the sender and recipient through formal characteristics such as epistolary codes and topoi as well as through the language of friendship and kinship. It looks specifically at a set of five letters from women living in monastic contexts in the 8th century in the British Isles written to St. Boniface. In reading these letters closely, the goal is to understand how these women interacted with the language of letter-writing and how analysis of their letters under the assumption of letters as a literary genre can help understand how they construct both themselves and Boniface. Letters provide a unique site for this type of analysis as they straddle the line of the private and public. They are extremely sensitive to social roles and thus provide ample room to understand how these women occupied their roles in life and exercised power and agency within the limits they lived by. I argue that, while they generally do not break with the epistolary and social roles assigned to them, the ways these women utilize the epistolary genre is highly sophisticated and they reveal (intentionally) a world in which they wield significant power and may participate in cultures of friendship that were often closed to women.
Description
Marion Hamilton was a Bryn Mawr student
Subjects
Citation
Collections