COURTLY LOVE: The Path of Sexual Initiation

COURTLY LOVE: The Path of Sexual Initiation

JEAN MARKALE    Book Number: 83029    Product format: Hardback

After the year 1000 a new way of looking at love and the place held by women in the world was happening. The Christian-inspired tradition that at best viewed women with contempt, fear and loathing, was replaced by a new perspective, in which women enjoyed a central role as the inspiration for all male action. For several hundred years, courtly love with its emphasis on adultery, carnality and the power of the feminine, dominated European culture despite its flouting of conventional Christian morality. It is not enough to consider courtly love only through its literary aspects. King Arthur asked Guinivere 'to do all in her power' to keep the brilliant Lancelot of the Lake at court. The essential thing is to know when one should not go too far. Later, in the 17th century, courtly love would become integrated into the map of Passionate Feelings, but this would be no more than a cerebral game where by ladies of high estate would be courted all their lives and her suitors entertain no hope of any kind. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, courtly love was an entirely different thing. The spiritual, intellectual and carnal aspects of life are closely interwoven. We touch upon the 'holy' grail, the reassuring worshippers of the Virgin Mary and acknowledge that the energies awoken in these ways are sexual in origin and did not always find their culmination in mystical ecstasy. Markale, poet, philosopher, historian and storyteller, shows that the roots go all the way back to the great mother goddess. Underneath the refined prose of the troubadours' verses flourished a system of sexual initiations that rivalled Indian tantra. 242pp in paperback.
Published price: £14.99
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Additional product information

ISBN 9780892817719
Browse these categories as well: Erotica, Literature & Classics, History, Collector's Library

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