Romancing the Goddess: Three Middle English Romances about Women by Marijane Osborn, a 1998 paperback from University of Illinois Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.
“Take three exciting medieval romances, translate them—two for the first time—into modern English verse, and you’ll have only part of Marijane Osborn’s Romancing the Goddess.
Osborn introduces and translates the three tales, all dealing with women cast adrift upon the northern and Mediterranean seas, then shows how the stories forge a hitherto missing link with worship of a savior goddess in the distant past.
Arguing that the idea of the woman cast adrift can be traced to an ancient Mediterranean legend connecting aspects of the Virgin Mary and Isis as ‘sea goddesses’—protectors of those at sea—Osborn then explores the image and idea of ‘the Goddess.’ The romances and the author’s discussion of that ever-popular female figure will interest feminists, women readers generally, medievalists, historians of religion, and the many others interested in the mysterious figure we call ‘the Goddess.'” — back cover