"Woman, who is equal to the moon in the flower of youth, Is equal to a little old ape after the onset of old age"
This remarkable collection brings together a host of writings from across different regions and cultures of the Middle Ages, from the ninth to the fifteenth century. They are arranged to follow the life stages of a Medieval woman living a secular existence, from infancy and girlhood, through marriage and motherhood, to widowhood and old age. Some women are famous or captured in exceptional circumstances, many more are anonymous: an abandoned baby in Italy, or an epitaph for the female leader of a Synagogue, speaking across the ages. This selection contains an introduction discussing the Medieval woman's status, separate introductions to each chapter, notes and a bibliography.
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About the Author
Elisabeth van Houts is a fellow and lecturer in Medieval History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, with particular interests in the Anglo-Norman period, Latin historiography and the role of women in medieval society.
Patricia Skinner was a reader in Medieval History at the University of Southampton. She has published extensively on the social and gender history of medieval Italy, as well as editing books on Anglo-Jewish medieval history and medieval historiography.
“An admirable variety of writings (almost 140 of them!) on the stages of women’s lives and the ranges of women’s concerns. Were I teaching a course on medieval history or culture, this would be a text to consider for adoption.” —William Cotton, Associate Professor, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA