Synopses & Reviews
Our understanding of the lives and roles of medieval women has changed dramatically in recent years. Far from being background characters of the middle ages, women often wielded an influence beyond their expected station. Many women fortunate enough to receive an education became patrons of literature, particularly secular tales of adventure and romance. Some bold pioneers became writers themselves. Others commissioned, or had dedicated to them, the earliest historical chronicles, bestiaries, and treatises on healthcare and military prowess.
Medieval Women celebrates the importance that women across Europe assigned to reading and literature, and the many ways women advanced medieval culture. It reveals the influence of great patrons like Eleanor of Castile, the English queen who employed two scribes and an illuminator in her personal workshop, and writers such as Hildegard of Bingen and Christine de Pizan, in addition to professional women who made their livings as scribes, artists, and librarians.
In this compelling book, generously illustrated with images from the British Library's unparalleled medieval manuscript collection, Deirdre Jackson explores both how such literary women were perceived by others, from churchmen and artists to relatives and servants, and how they saw themselves--as wives, mothers, women of learning, women of God, and members of a vibrant and volatile society.
"crisp, incisive prose makes a wealth of information intelligible....Virtually every aspect of a medieval Englishwoman's life is touched on in the book....this is a well-written, well-researched introduction." Albion"[Mate] looks at the ways in which historians have seen the position of women in medieval society from the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon period to the end of the 15th century." Book News"Mate's book contains much useful information and makes a compelling argument..." Comitatus
Examination of the evidence and major issues and debates deciding the position of women in medieval society.
An examination of the evidence and major issues and debates deciding the position of women in medieval society.
This book presents a concise and accessible introduction to the various issues and debates surrounding women and their position in medieval society. Professor Mate examines the role women played in the economy, clarifies legal provisions for women and highlights the importance of class, as well as gender, in determining marriage and opportunities.
Written primarly for undergraduates, this book judiciously weighs the evidence for and against the various theories relating to the position of women at different times in the medieval period. It examines the key issues affecting women in the medieval period and differs from other books in this area with its emphasis on women's contribution to the economy. At the same time, Professor Mate explains and clarifies the legal provisions for women, and highlights the importance of class, as well as gender, in determining marriage and opportunities for power and influence.
About the Author
Deirdre Jackson is a research associate on the Cambridge Illuminations project at the Fitzwilliam Museum. She is also the author of Marvellous to Behold: Miracles in Medieval Manuscripts.
Table of Contents
'1. Introduction; 2. Early medieval society 600-1250; 3. The late Middle Ages 1250-1350; Conclusion.\n