Anna McHugh and Liz Herbert McAvoy seek to uncover evidence of anchoritism
in Scotland and Wales respectively.
7-8; McAvoy," 'Closyd in an hows of ston': Discourses of Anchoritism and The Book of Margery Kempe" in Anchorites Wombs and Tombs: Intersections of Gender and Enclosure in the Middle Ages, ed.
For a detailed discussion of anchoritism as well as its relationship to gender, see Anchorites, Wombs and Tombs.
Such work on the body and the anchorhold has illuminated the gendered nature of anchoritism
as depicted in Ancrene Wisse in a ground-breaking way, and its stress on liminality suggests other fruitful lines of inquiry.
Robertson points out that the comparative popularity of anchoritism
for the thirteenth-century female contemplative (for whom the texts were written) owed much to the gradual eclipse of women's legal and economic freedom in feudal post-Conquest England.
Pleasingly, the essays all illuminate the volume's overall theme, namely, the ways in which the rhetoric of anchoritism
did or did not reflect anchoritic life and, further, the ways in which anchoritic rhetoric travelled to and from the anchorhold and the wider world.
More particularly she argues that male anchoritisms
are 'haunted' by femininity.