Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Murray, Jacqueline,


History, Medieval.




The mystical literature of twelfth-century England provides an unique insight into the conceptions and construction of gender in the Middle Ages. For the purpose of this thesis, these ideas are particularly evident in the Visio monachi de Eynsham (1196). The vision, recorded in the monastic environment of late twelfth-century England, details a journey through the three levels of Purgatory by a young novice, Edmund of Eynsham. The Visio monachi de Eynsham is important because it is a clear example of a "gendered" text. The androcentric focus of the text, in its construction of Purgatory, the nature and expiation of sin and in its treatment of women, was designed to instruct a male audience. The text was necessarily gendered male to appeal to a monastic audience and to lead men to salvation. The text is particularly concerned with the salvation of men, its lessons always admonishing and guiding men, spoken of and reflected upon with masculine images and experiences. Throughout the text, one is constantly aware of the various aspects of monastic masculinity. Feminist theory has sensitized researchers to a female or feminine voice. This same scholarship provides the necessary tools to examine the expressions of various monastic masculinities in the literature. The Visio monachi de Eynsham (1196) provides a superb illustration of the expressions of monastic "maleness" and male behaviour. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 33-04, page: 1126. Supervisor: Jacqueline Murray. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1994.