‘Jeanne de Montbaston’ is the alter ego of Lucy Allen, a medievalist working on the literature and culture of late-medieval England, with occasional forays into being rude about the patriarchy. I’m a teaching associate of the English Faculty at the University of Cambridge.

My research looks at gendered stereotypes of truthfulness in popular fiction, especially medieval romance. I think that our modern expectations of how fiction should represent men and women can be traced back to medieval literature and culture. By understanding how stereotypes about women came to be formed in medieval literature, we can learn how to deconstruct modern assumptions about gender.

Everything I write on these pages is speculative and up for debate, so please feel free to join in. You can also find me on twitter as @LucyAllenFWR. All views, both on this blog and on twitter, are personal. I retain the copyright, so please ask before quoting or reblogging.

23 Responses to About

  1. W says:

    Hello, I love your blog! Wondering if you could recommend any books on Women’s history? I know that’s a little vague…

    • Jeanne de Montbaston says:

      Gosh … well, without more detail, I would say Henrietta Leyser’s ‘Medieval Women’ is a nice introduction. But there’s masses more out there, so if you let me know what you are interested in, I’ll try to have a think. And thank you for the kind comment!

  2. W says:

    Thanks for replying – will check that one out!
    Just wondering, have you read ‘Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love’?

    • Jeanne de Montbaston says:

      I have, yes! I think it’s a really interesting question, even if I’m not sure you can ‘invent’ something of that nature.

  3. Loca Gringa says:

    “… forays into being rude about the patriarchy,” love it!

  4. Just discovered your website and read your “Should of Known…” blog. Very enjoyable. Question for you–on a (an) historical novelist forum lately there was a question about what the English (or the French for that matter)called the English Channel during the Middle Ages. There were many suggestions–none that totally rang true for me. I’m writing a novel set in the 11th century. Any idea about the Channel? Thank you.

    • Jeanne de Montbaston says:

      I’m glad you like it!

      I have to admit, I actually don’t have the first idea, but I will ask people who might know. I would think both English and French would be writing about it in French and Latin, but I wonder if they used the same word?

      What a fascinating question.

  5. Carola Beecham says:

    I’m writing a detailed commentary on Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale which I hope to put on the Times Ed Supp website where it can be accessed for free by anyone who might have some interest in Chaucer. I’d love to quote some of your Codpieces and Demons blog – I found what you wrote about god-sibs and janglers and Tutivillus fascinating (and very relevant). I would, of course, acknowledge you and your website.
    Carola Beecham

    • Jeanne de Montbaston says:

      Yes, please feel free – so long as it is acknowledged (with the blog hyperlink), that’s fine. It sounds like a great resource – I’d love a link to it, if I may?

      I’m glad you liked the blog.

  6. stchauvinism says:

    May I reblog your Equal Opportunities Objectification post?

  7. I found your blog through twitter and it’s brilliant.

    I run a history blog on childhood, gender, psychiatry and related topics. It features an ‘affiliates’ page that lists quality blogs of similar content to which I’ve added Reading Medieval Books. Its intended to allow for mutual exposure so if you like mine, please list it on yours!



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  9. Robin Reid says:

    Hello: I will be teaching a summer graduate course on Nicola Griffith’s Hild starting next week, and I wanted to let you know that I’m listing some of your entries on a list of sites that feature images from medieval manuscripts that feature women for students to see.

    They have to find five medieval images of women for two class assignments.

    I had originally hoped to have my students do digital archive searches in the digitized collections, but a few hours of playing around convinced me it would be too much for students in a literature department in a five-week term, so I did a search for images of women in medieval manuscripts, and one of your blog posts came up in the top Google results (along with the British library and a BBC history webpage).

    I am not a medievalist but do a fair amount of work in medievalisms relating to contemporary fantasy (Tolkien primarily), but now have this new major interest in Griffith’s work.

    I’ll be emphasizing issues of copyright, attribution, fair use, etc. in the assignments (which are an annotated bibliography, and a remix project on the novel using five images of medieval women along with other materials), and hope to have student projects online at the end if you’d like to see some of the results.

    I also plan to keep reading your blog (probably via an rss feed to Dreamwidth where I hang out in my fan persona).


    • Jeanne de Montbaston says:

      Oh, that sounds like such a fascinating course! I hope the images are all useful – I don’t think I’ve anything I got from anywhere except the usual suspects (Wiki commons, the British Library’s non-copyright library, etc.), but if that’s what they’d find useful, that’s great!

  10. thecodpast says:

    Hello Jeanne/Lucy, we are a website for adults and students with dyslexia. We do podcasts, articles and videos about dyslexia to provide help, advice or just a place for like-minded people. We are interested of what you are doing and wondering if you would up for a chat?
    Have a look at our website and let us know if you are interested. Cheers.

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