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EnglishPart of Humanities

Postgraduate Success: Kirsty Bolton

Published: 27 January 2021
Anne of Bohemia
Anne of Bohemia, with a credit 'Copyright: Dean and Chapter of Westminster'

English Doctoral student Kirsty Bolton has received a special commendation for her essay entitled ‘Mothers, Space, and Power in Athelston’ in the annual Gender and Medieval Studies Group Postgraduate Student Essay Prize. Her essay was considered ‘excellent and notable for its quality and analysis’, with the judges writing:

‘The argument put forward about the significance of the romance's depiction of public motherhood as a means of challenging the concept of royal power as infallible was well-made and convincing. The author showed an informed knowledge not only of the romance's contents but of key aspects of its wider context (including issues of audience). In developing their argument, they drew on a range of scholarship relating to the romance itself, but also to the issues of motherhood and queenship which are central to their reading of the text. The author also has some really smart comments about the significance of space, its delineation within the text, and the implications of this for the ways in which motherhood is constructed. A persuasive case is made for the ways in which this romance addresses questions of royal power, justice and social responsibility in terms that would have resonated with its audience. The essay has a lot to say about how motherhood operates within these deeply patriarchal and punitive contexts.’

Kirsty now has the opportunity to work with the judges’ feedback to revise the essay for consideration by the peer-reviewed journal Medieval Feminist Forum.

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