Warrior Women and Popular Balladry, 1650-1850

TitleWarrior Women and Popular Balladry, 1650-1850
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsDugaw, Dianne
Number of Pages233
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press

Dianne Dugaw's book documents the flourishing of the female warrior heroine in lower-class popular songs of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In well over a hundred ballads during this period, the heroine masquerades as a man, going to war for love and glory. The author examines the ballads, their composition, sale and performance, and relates the warrior women to a wide range of contemporary contexts. These include everyday life for the lower-class population of the period (especially for women), a wide array of literary forms using the motif of disguised women and raising issues relating to gender and masquerading, and the western heroic ideal with its sexual and martial implications. This study makes valuable connections between popular and polite literary forms, too often segregated in academic studies. From a stimulating feminist perspective, Professor Dugaw addresses some timely and contentious issues in this study of refreshing source.

(UNC Chapel Hill, taken from 1st edition)

Original PublicationCambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989
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