The study of medieval women has flourished over the last forty years or so, challenging the idea of a universality of experience among women. This new collection of major works from Routledge addresses the different ways in which medieval women have been studied by looking at religious and secular women, women according to their stage in the life cycle, and according to their social status. Important theoretical issues are also tackled, such as the applicability of terms such as misogyny, anti-feminism, and feminism, the cultural construction of the body, and the periodization of women’s history.
Table of Contents
Part 1. Debating Medieval Women: Then and Now
1. Rosemary Radford Ruether, ‘Misogynism and Virginal Feminism in the Fathers of the Church’, in Rosemary Radford Ruether (ed.) Religion and Sexism: Images of Woman in the Jewish and Christian Traditions (Simon and Schuster; NY, 1974), pp. 150-183
2. Jacqueline Murray, 'Thinking about Gender: The diversity of medieval perspectives' in Jennifer Carpenter & Sally-Beth MacLean (eds), Power of the Weak: Studies on Medieval Women (University of Illinois Press, 1990), pp. 1-26
3. B. Newman, ‘Authority, Authenticity, and the Repression of Heloise’, Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 22 (1992), pp. 121-157.
Part II. Women and Religion
2.1 The Religious Life
4. Jo Ann Kay McNamara, ‘Introduction: Chastity and Female Identity’, in her Sisters in Arms: Catholic Nuns through Two Millennia (Harvard University Press, 1996), pp. 1-6.
5. Jane Tibbetts Schulenberg, ‘Strict Active Enclosure and its Effects on the Female Monastic Experience (ca. 500-1100)’, in John A. Nichols and Lillian Thomas Shank (eds), Medieval Religious Women, Volume One: Distant Echoes (Cistercian Publications Inc. 1984), pp. 51-86.
6. Alice-Mary Talbot, ‘Women’s Space in Byzantine Monasteries’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 52 (1998), pp. 113-127.
7. Fiona J. Griffiths, ‘The Cross and the Cura monialium: Robert of Arbrissel, John the Evangelist, and the Pastoral Care of Women in the Age of Reform’, Speculum, 83:2 (2008), pp. 303-330.
8. Erin L. Jordan "Gender Concerns: Monks, Nuns, and Patronage of the Cistercian Order in Thirteenth-Century Flanders and Hainaut," Speculum 87.1 (2012), pp. 62-94.
9. J. Mecham, "Reading Between the Lines: Compilation, variation, and the recovery of an authentic female voice in the Dornenkron prayer books from Wienhausen," Journal of Medieval History 29:2 (2003), pp.109-128.
10. Caroline Walker Bynum, ‘Fast, Feast and Flesh: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women’, Representations, 0:11 (1985), 1-25.
11. Jamal J. Elias, ‘Female and Feminine in Islamic Mysticism’, Muslim World, 78: 3-4 (1988), 209-224.
2.2 Lay Piety
12. Julia M.H. Smith, "Women at the Tomb: Access to Relic Shrines in the Early Middle Ages’, in Kathleen Mitchell and Ian Wood (eds), The World of Gregory of Tours (Brill, 2002), pp. 163-180.
13. Judith Herrin, ‘The Icon Corner in Medieval Byzantium’, in Anneke Mulder-Bakker and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne (eds), Household, Women and Christianities in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Brepols, 2005), pp. 71-90.
14. Dyan Elliott, "Dress as Mediator between Inner and Outer Self: The Pious Matron of the High and Later Middle Ages" Mediaeval Studies, (1991), 53 (1), pp. 279-308
15. P. Biller, ‘The Common Woman in the Western Church in the Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries," in W J. Sheils and D. Wood, eds., Women in the Church: Papers Read at the 1989 Summer Meeting and the 1990 Winter Meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society (Cambridge, Mass. 1990), pp. 127-157.
16. Shannon McSheffrey, "Women and Lollardy: A Reassessment," Canadian Journal of History 26:2 (1991), pp. 199-223.
17. Jonathan P. Berkey, ‘Women and Islamic Education in the Mamluk Period’ in Nikki R. Keddie and Beth Baron (eds), Women in Middle Eastern History: Shifting Boundaries in Sex and Gender (Yale University Press; New Haven, 1991), pp. 143-157.
18. Renée Levine Melammed, "Crypto-Jewish Women Facing the Spanish Inquisition: Transmitting Religious Practices, Beliefs, and Attitudes." In Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Medieval and Early Modern Spain. Ed. Mark D. Meyerson and Edward D. English (Uni. of Notre Dame Press, 1999), pp. 197-219.
19. Katherine L. French, "'To Free Them from Binding': Women in the Late Medieval English Parish," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 27.3 (1997) pp. 387-412.
Part III. Female Bodies and the Life Cycle
20. Vern L. Bullough, ‘Medieval Medical and Scientific Views of Women’, Viator, 4 (1973), pp. 485-501.
21. Joan Cadden, 'It Takes All Kinds: Sexuality and Gender Differences in Hildegard of Bingen's "Book of Compound Medicine"', Traditio 40 (1984), pp. 149-174.
22. Monica Green, ‘Women’s Medical Practice and Health Care in Medieval Europe’, Signs 14:2 (Winter 1989), pp. 434-473.
23. Barbara A. Hanawalt, ‘Childrearing among the Lower Classes of Late Medieval England’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 8, no. 1 (1977), pp. 1-22.
24. Jonathan P. Berkey, ‘Circumcision Circumscribed: Female excision and cultural accommodation in the medieval near east’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 28 (1996), pp.19-38.
25. Kim M. Phillips, "Desiring Virgins: Maidens, Martyrs, and Femininity in Late Medieval England." In Youth in the Middle Ages. Edited by P. J. P. Goldberg and Felicity Riddy. Boydell Press, 2004, pp. 45-59.
26. Stanley Chojnacki, ‘Measuring Adulthood: Adolescence and gender in Renaissance Venice’, Journal of Family History, 17, Jan. 1992, pp. 371-395.
27. Grethe Jacobsen, ‘Pregnancy and Childbirth in the Medieval North: a topology of sources and a preliminary study’, Scandinavian Journal of History, 9 (1984), pp. 91-111.
28. Elisheva Baumgarten. "Jewish Conceptions of Motherhood in Medieval Christian Europe: Dialogue and Difference." Micrologus: Natura, Scienze e Società 17 (2009), pp.149-165.
29. Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, "Blood Parents and Milk Parents: Wet
Nursing in Florence, 1300-1530," in her Women, Family, and Ritual in Renaissance Italy, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), pp. 132-164.
30. Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker, ‘The Age of Discretion: Women at Forty and Beyond’, in Sue Niebrzydowski (ed.), Middle-Aged Women in the Middle Ages (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2011), pp. 15-24.
31. David Herlihy, "Life Expectancies for Women in Medieval Society," in The Role of Woman in the Middle Ages, ed. Rosemarie Thee Morewedge (Hodder and Stoughton, 1975), pp. 1–22.
Part 4. Women and Marriage
4.1 Marriage, Law and Property
32. Diane Owen Hughes, "From Brideprice to Dowry in Mediterranean Europe," Journal of Family History, 3:3 (1978), pp. 262-296.
33. John T. Noonan, ‘Power to Choose’, Viator, 4 (1973), pp. 419-434.
34. Lightfoot, Dana Wessell. "The Projects of Marriage: Spousal Choice, Dowries, and Domestic Service in Early Fifteenth-Century Valencia." Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 40:1 (2009), pp. 333-353.
35. Judith R. Baskin, ‘Mobility and Marriage in Two Medieval Jewish Societies’, Jewish History, 22.1 (2008), pp. 223-243.
36. Marie A. Kelleher, ‘Hers by right: Gendered legal assumptions and women’s property in the medieval crown of Aragon’, Journal of Women’s History, 22:2 (2010), pp. 34-55.
37. Sara Butler, "Runaway Wives: Husband Desertion in Medieval England." Journal of Social History 40.2 (2006), pp. 337-359.
38. Yossef Rapoport, ‘Divorce, Reputation and Settlement’, in his Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval Islamic Society (CUP, 2005), pp. 69-88.
39. Isabelle Chabot, ‘Lineage Strategies and the Control of Widows in Renaissance Florence’, in Sandra Cavallo and Lyndan Warner (eds), Widowhood in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Longman, 1999), pp. 127-144.
4.2 Alternative Relationships
40. Ruth Mazo Karras, ‘The history of marriage and the myth of Friedelehe’, Early Medieval Europe 14:2 (2006), pp. 119-151.
41. Jacqueline Murray, ‘Twice marginal and twice invisible: Lesbians in the Middle Ages’, in Vern L. Bullough and James A. Brundage (eds), Handbook of Medieval Sexuality (Garland Publishing Inc. 1996), pp. 191-218.
42. Carol Lansing , ‘Concubines, Lovers, Prostitutes: Infamy and Female Identity in Medieval Bologna’ in Beyond Florence: The Contours of Medieval and Early Modern Italy. Edited by Paula Findlen, Michelle M. Fontaine, and Duane J. Osheim. Stanford University Press, 2003, pp. 85-100, 256-258.
Part 5. Intersections of Gender and Social Status
5.1 Women and Rulership
43. Janet L. Nelson, ‘Queens as Jezebels: The Careers of Brunhild and Balthild in Merovingian History’, in D. Baker (ed.), Medieval Women: Essays Presented to R. M. T. Hill, Studies in Church History, Subsidia 1 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1978), pp. 31–77.
44. Marion F. Facinger, ‘A Study of Medieval Queenship: Capetian France, 987-1237’, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, 5 (1968), pp. 3-47.
45. Judith Herrin, ‘The Imperial Feminine in Byzantium’, Past and Present, 169 (2000), 3-35.
46. John Carmi Parsons, ‘Ritual and Symbol in the English Medieval Queenship to 1500’, in Women and Sovereignty, ed. Louise Olga Fradenburg (Edinburgh Uni. Press, 1992), pp. 60-77.
5.2 Aristocratic women
47. Theodore Evergates ‘Aristocratic Women in the County of Champagne’, in Theodore Evergates (ed.), Aristocratic Women in Medieval France (Uni. Of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), pp. 74-110 and 207-220.
48. Kimberly A. LoPrete, 'The Gender of Lordly Women: The Case of Adela of Blois', in Christine Meek & Catherine Lawless, eds., Studies on Medieval and Early Modern Women: Pawns or Players? (Four Courts Press, 2003), 90-110.
49. Eve Levin, ‘Women and Property in Medieval Novgorod: Dependence and Independence’, Russian History, 10: 2 (1983), pp. 154-169.
50. Angeliki E. Laiou, ‘The Role of Women in Byzantine Society’, Jahrbuch der österreichischen Byzantinistik 31: 1 (1981), pp. 233-260.
5.3 Peasant women
51. Jean-Pierre Devroey, "Men and Women in Early Medieval Serfdom: The Ninth-Century North Frankish Evidence." Past and Present 166 (2000), pp. 3-30.
52. Sandy Bardsley, ‘Women’s Work Reconsidered: Gender and Wage Differentiation in Late Medieval England’, Past and Present, 165 (1999), pp. 3-29.
53. Rebecca Jean Emigh, ‘The Gender Division of Labour: The Case of Tuscan Smallholders’, Continuity and Change, 15:1 (2000), pp. 117-137.
5.4 Urban women
54. Maya Shatzmiller, ‘Aspects of Women’s Participation in the Economic Life of Later Medieval Islam: Occupations and Mentalities’, Arabica, 35:1 (Mar. 1988), pp. 36-58.
55. P.J.P. Goldberg, ‘Female Labour, Service and Marriage in the Late Medieval Urban North’, Northern History, 22 (1986), pp. 18-38.
56. M. Kowaleski and J.M. Bennett, ‘Crafts, Gilds and Women in the Middle Ages: Fifty Years after Marian K. Dale’, in Signs, 14:2 (1989), pp. 474-488.
57. Farmer, Sharon. "Down and Out and Female in Thirteenth-Century Paris." American Historical Review 103,2 (April 1998), pp. 345-372.
Part 6. Continuity or Change?
58. Julia M. H. Smith, ‘Did Women Have a Transformation of the Roman World?’, Gender & History, 12 (2000), pp. 552–571.
59. Pauline Stafford, ‘Women and the Norman Conquest’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th ser. 4 (1994), pp. 221-250.
60. Susan Mosher Stuard, "Ancillary Evidence for the Decline of Medieval Slavery," Past and Present, 149 (November 1995), pp. 3-28.
61. Judith M. Bennett, 'Medieval Women, Modern Women: Across the Great Divide', in Culture and History, 1350-1600: Essays on English Communities, Identities and Writing, ed. David Aers (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992), pp. 147-175.