The Female Warrior Heroine in Anglo-American Popular Balladry

TitleThe Female Warrior Heroine in Anglo-American Popular Balladry
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1982
AuthorsDugaw, Dianne
Number of Pages1059
UniversityUniversity of California, Los Angeles
CityLos Angeles

This dissertation 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. The dissertation was adapted into a monograph expanding upon the author's initial research in 1989.

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