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In the Brut narratives of medieval historiography, male heroic success and specifically the birth of Arthur are predicated upon the rape of Igerna. A comparative approach to the Tintagel episode across several of these narratives reveals how the emphasis on romance, magic, and nation-building function to validate sexual assault and elide Igerna’s experience. Ultimately, the repetition entailed in translatio studii, specifically the transfer that takes place within history-writing, reinforces the silencing of the survivor’s voice. This repetition lends trauma to the reading experience or creates the risk that readers become inured to the rape.
Romance; King Arthur; raptus; Tintagel; Igerna; Uther Pendragon; rape; trauma; historiography; genealogy; prophecy
Copyright © 2021 Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship
Adler, Gillian "“Writing History, Writing Trauma” : The Rape of Igerna in the Medieval Brut Narratives." Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality 56, No. 2 (2021) : 48-72.