This book opened with an eye-witness description of the dowager Duchess Margaret of York flaunting the genitalia of her infant grandson, Philip the Fair, in the marketplace at Bruges in 1472: Margaret ‘took [the infant’s] testicles in her hands and she spoke, ‘Children, see here your newly born lord Philip from the Emperor’s side.’ The crowd, seeing that it was a son, was overwhelmingly happy, thanking and praising our beloved God that he had granted them a young prince: 1 This performance was contrived to substantiate the child’s maleness, and thus his legitimate succession to the Burgundian territories, for the swarming crowd of onlookers. I wish to close with a brief discussion of a textual parallel to the enactment. In August of 1372, while visiting Bethlehem, Bridget of Sweden had the following vision of the Nativity, which was recorded in her widely-read Revelations:

I saw in the same place, where the Virgin Mary and Joseph were the boy in the manger, that shepherds and guardians of the flock came to see and adore the infant. When they had seen it, they first to inquire whether it were male or female because the angels announced them that the Savior of the world had been born and had not ‘Savioress.’ Therefore the Virgin Mother then showed to them the natural parts and male sex; and at once they adored him with reverence and joy. 2