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The Androgyne in Early Modern France. Contextualizing the Power of Gender

Marian Rothstein

Marian Rothstein, The Androgyne in Early Modern France. Contextualizing the Power of Gender, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, ISBN 9781137541369, 72 £.

In the Renaissance, the androygyne - based on sources in the book of Genesis and Plato’s Symposium - was a means of expressing the full potential of humans made in the image of God. Discussing the androygyne within the context of the visual, literary, and political, this book explores the androgyne as it was understood in early modern France. More specifically, Rothstein documents the wide-ranging uses of the androgyne in the thought of poets, philosophers, courtiers, and women in positions of political power and its ultimate connection to gender construction during the European Renaissance. As the book moves from examining the sources of the androgyne to increasingly contextualized instances of their use, Rothstein highlights specific manifestations of the androgyne as a powerful yet enigmatic literary metaphor and an instrument of action in the world.