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Other titles in the Middle Ages series:

Cities of Ladies: Beguine Communities in the Medieval Low Countries, 1200-1565 (Middle Ages)

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Cities of Ladies: Beguine Communities in the Medieval Low Countries, 1200-1565 (Middle Ages) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2002

In the early thirteenth century, semireligious communities of women began to form in the cities and towns of the Low Countries. These beguines, as the women came to be known, led lives of contemplation and prayer and earned their livings as laborers or teachers.

In Cities of Ladies, the first history of the beguines to appear in English in fifty years, Walter Simons traces the transformation of informal clusters of single women to large beguinages. These veritable single-sex cities offered lower- and middle-class women an alternative to both marriage and convent life. While the region's expanding urban economies initially valued the communities for their cheap labor supply, severe economic crises by the fourteenth century restricted women's opportunities for work. Church authorities had also grown less tolerant of religious experimentation, hailing as subversive some aspects of beguine mysticism. To Simons, however, such accusations of heresy against the beguines were largely generated from a profound anxiety about their intellectual ambitions and their claims to a chaste life outside the cloister. Under ecclesiastical and economic pressure, beguine communities dwindled in size and influence, surviving only by adopting a posture of restraint and submission to church authorities.

Synopsis:

"The definitive study. . . . A learned, lively, and highly readable book, now the essential introduction to the subject."--"Choice"

Synopsis:

Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2002In the early thirteenth century, semireligious communities of women began to form in the cities and towns of the Low Countries. These beguines, as the women came to be known, led lives of contemplation and prayer and earned their livings as laborers or teachers.In Cities of Ladies, the first history of the beguines to appear in English in fifty years, Walter Simons traces the transformation of informal clusters of single women to large beguinages. These veritable single-sex cities offered lower- and middle-class women an alternative to both marriage and convent life. While the region's expanding urban economies initially valued the communities for their cheap labor supply, severe economic crises by the fourteenth century restricted women's opportunities for work. Church authorities had also grown less tolerant of religious experimentation, hailing as subversive some aspects of beguine mysticism. To Simons, however, such accusations of heresy against the beguines were largely generated from a profound anxiety about their intellectual ambitions and their claims to a chaste life outside the cloister. Under ecclesiastical and economic pressure, beguine communities dwindled in size and influence, surviving only by adopting a posture of restraint and submission to church authorities.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812218534
Author:
Simons, Walter
Publisher:
University of Pennsylvania Press
Subject:
Medieval
Subject:
Women's Studies - History
Subject:
Mysticism
Subject:
World History - Medieval and Renaissance
Series:
Middle Ages
Publication Date:
20030231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.36x6.12x1.05 in. 1.20 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Northwest Europe » Belgium and Luxembourg
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Medieval
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Medieval and Renaissance
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Western Religions » Mysticism

Cities of Ladies: Beguine Communities in the Medieval Low Countries, 1200-1565 (Middle Ages) New Trade Paper
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$32.75 In Stock
Product details 352 pages University of Pennsylvania Press - English 9780812218534 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "The definitive study. . . . A learned, lively, and highly readable book, now the essential introduction to the subject."--"Choice"
"Synopsis" by , Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2002In the early thirteenth century, semireligious communities of women began to form in the cities and towns of the Low Countries. These beguines, as the women came to be known, led lives of contemplation and prayer and earned their livings as laborers or teachers.In Cities of Ladies, the first history of the beguines to appear in English in fifty years, Walter Simons traces the transformation of informal clusters of single women to large beguinages. These veritable single-sex cities offered lower- and middle-class women an alternative to both marriage and convent life. While the region's expanding urban economies initially valued the communities for their cheap labor supply, severe economic crises by the fourteenth century restricted women's opportunities for work. Church authorities had also grown less tolerant of religious experimentation, hailing as subversive some aspects of beguine mysticism. To Simons, however, such accusations of heresy against the beguines were largely generated from a profound anxiety about their intellectual ambitions and their claims to a chaste life outside the cloister. Under ecclesiastical and economic pressure, beguine communities dwindled in size and influence, surviving only by adopting a posture of restraint and submission to church authorities.
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