In the chansonniers of the trouveres of twelfth- and thirteenth-century Northern France are m a n y songs wholly or partly in the woman's voice, the chansons de femme, defined by Doris Earnshaw as any song which employs the female voice 'in all or part of its lines'.' This definition has the advantage of opening up the debate to include the woman's voice wherever it occurs. This is the sense in which I a m using it here. The term includes numerous genres, some of them femalevoiced lyric monologues and debates, others lyrico-narrative songs of different kinds. H o w do w e see these 'women' of woman's song? Are they simply 'men singing in drag .. m e n speaking for w o m e n , that is to say, "in their place'"? This . is the question asked by E. Jane B u m s and others. W h o speaks w h e n a w o m a n speaks, particularly w h e n her words are written for her by a m a n ? W h a t status do w e accord to her and to her words? H
Parergon – Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)
Published: Apr 3, 2001
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