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Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities
Imperatrix, Domina, Rex: Conceptualizing The Female King In Twelfth-Century England, Coral Lumbley
Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality
This article draws on methods from transgender theory, historicist literary studies, and visual analysis of medieval sealing practices to show that Empress Matilda of England was controversially styled as a female king during her career in the early to mid twelfth century. While the chronicle Gesta Stephani castigates Matilda’s failure to engage in sanctioned gendered behaviors as she waged civil war to claim her inherited throne, Matilda’s seal harnesses both masculine and feminine signifiers in order to proclaim herself both king and queen. While Matilda’s transgressive gender position was targeted by her detractors during her lifetime, the ...