The Secrets of Women in Middle Dutch
a bilingual edition of der vrouwen heimelijcheit in Ghent University Library Ms 444
Boek 7 uit de serie Artesliteratuur in de Nederlanden.
A poet, head over heels in love with a charming lady, writes a book at her request on intimate matters concerning women. It is a delicate undertaking, not only because it is a relatively unknown subject for him, but also because he does not want her to be angry with him when she reads about these highly personal matters. This is how Der vrouwen heimelijcheit [The Secrets of Women] begins. An intriguing characteristic of this fifteenth-century text is the way in which the author has alternated scientific knowledge of the medieval artes corpus with a personal love complaint. He interrupts his gynaecological exposition in twenty-odd places to express his love in lyrical terms. To make the text available for an international readership, this publication provides a cultural historical introduction and presents the Middle Dutch Secrets of Women together with an English translation.