| The Feminine Reclaimed breaks new ground
in the field of Renaissance scholarship. Stevie Davies considers
the feminine principle as it was developed through the humanist
and Neoplatonic revival of ancient classical learning.
From this perspective the author approaches major works
of the three great literary figures of the English Renaissance.
Through close, perceptive readings of their most crucial
works, informed by a familiarity with the whole range of
their context in the European literature and thought of
their time, Stevie Davies is able to demonstrate the great
importance of the feminine principle in the consciousness
of these writers and their age, a time of political, religious,
and social upheaval in which perceptions of woman and her
status in society underwent momentous changes. She analyses
guiding symbols, mythical allusions, and literary structures
in major works by the three poets to show that this rediscovered
image of the feminine was incorporated into The Faerie
Queene, Shakespeare's last plays, and Paradise Lost
in such a manner as to create an alternative system of values
which either redefined or criticised the patriarchal structure
of the contemporary world.