Medieval Writings on Secular Women

Various - Author

Patricia Skinner - Editor

Patricia Skinner - Introduction by

Elisabeth van Houts - Editor

Elisabeth van Houts - Introduction by

Paperback | $17.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780141439914 | 448 pages | 31 May 2011 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of Medieval Writings on Secular Women Summary of Medieval Writings on Secular Women Reviews for Medieval Writings on Secular Women An Excerpt from Medieval Writings on Secular Women
The first collection to bring together the forgotten female voices of the Middle Ages.

Artfully arranged to follow the life stages of a medieval woman living a secular existence, this remarkable volume collects a host of writings from across different regions and cultures spanning the ninth to the fifteenth centuries. The writings-some by famous figures, but many anonymous-illuminate the life circumstances of their authors, from a woman abandoned as a baby in Italy to a female leader of a synagogue. Featuring many new translations, Medieval Writings on Secular Women is a valuable contribution to the fields of women's and medieval literature.



A Note on the Texts

A Note on Dates and Currencies

Chapter 1: Birth and Infancy


1. Fear of Giving Birth to the Antichrist, France, Mid-tenth Century

2. A Charm to be Spoken During the Birth of a Baby, England, Eleventh Century

3. A Pregnant Woman's Delivery of a Stillborn Baby, Normandy, Mid-eleventh Century

4. Public Record of the Labour of Isabel de la Cavallería, Zaragoza, 10 January 1490

5. William of Conches on Human Reproduction, Normandy, Mid-twelfth Century

6. The Welsh Law of Women on Provision for Mother and Baby, Early Thirteenth Century

7. A Bequest of Moveables to a Pregnant Wife, Genoa, 5 March 1156

8. Faked Pregnancies and Substituted Children: Galbert of Bruges on Walter of Vladsloo, Flanders, Early Twelfth Century

9. A Substituted Child, Normandy, Eleventh Century

10. A Substituted Child, England, Twelfth Century

11. Pope Gregory XI Issues a Pardon over a False Pregnancy, Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, 27 July 1372

12. Reaction to the Birth of a Daughter: Walter of Châtillon, France, Twelfth Century

13. A Jewish Husband in Dispute with His Wife, Cairo, Tenth to Twelfth Centuries

14. Conciliar Advice on Lay Baptism, Trier (?), 1277

15. A Royal Baptism, England, Late Eleventh Century

16. A Noblewoman Breastfeeding her own Children: Ida of Bouillon, Eleventh Century

17. King Roger of Sicily Rewards the Wet-nurse of his Son, Henry, Southern Italy, 1136

18. Nurse and Infant, Normandy, Mid-eleventh Century

19. Nurse and Infant, Normandy, Early Twelfth Century

20. Penitential Texts on Child Deaths, Spain, Ninth to Eleventh Centuries

21. Care of an Abandoned Baby, Italy, Late Thirteenth Century

Chapter 2: Girls and Young Women


22. A Jewish Girl's Charitable Act, Cairo, Mid-eleventh Century

23. Little Girls' Pastimes: Liutberga, Germany, Ninth Century

24. Little Girls' Pastimes: Joan of Arc, France, Early Fifteenth Century

25. Little Girls at School: Froissart's L'Espinette amoureuse, 1365-72

26. A Young Girl at Work: Liutberga, Germany, Ninth Century

27. A Peasant Girl at Work: Alpais of Cudot, France, Mid-twelfth Century

28. A contract Placing a Girl in Service, Amalfi, 1090

29. Slave Girls Among the Rus', Tenth Century

30. Manumission of a Female Slave, Genoa, 12 May 1159

31. Sales of Female Slaves, Crete, 1301

32. A Fugitive Slave, Crete, 1315

33. Anglo-Saxon Customs on Engagement, Eleventh Century

34. An Anglo-Jewish Betrothal Contract, 1271

35. A Muslim Girl Sent Early to be Married, Sicily, Twelfth Century

36. The Case of Grace Saleby, England, Twelfth Century

37. A Narrow Escape from Assault: Christina of Markyate, Huntingdon, Twelfth Century

38. Alleged Rape of an Eleven-year-old Girl, London, 1320

39. Securing a Dowry by Litigation, Calabria, 1093

40. Securing a Dowry by Adoption, Southern Italy, 1170

41. Securing a Dowry Through Charity, Trento, 1301

42. Menstruation: St Trophimena Intervenes in a Case of Underage Marriage, Amalfi, Ninth Century

43. Innocent III on the Horrors of Menstrual Blood, Italy, Before 1198

44. Unmarried Women and Prostitutes, Paris, c. 1200

45. Single Mother's Lament, Germany/France, c. 1200

46. Marbod of Rennes, Poem to the Countess Ermengarde of Brittany, France, Early Twelfth Century

47. A Wealthy Heiress, England, 1137/8

48. Single Women's Business Transactions, Crete, 1301

49. A Single Woman: Liutberga, Germany, Ninth Century

Chapter 3: Married Women and Mothers


50. Letter of Einhard's Wife, Imma, on an Illicit Marriage, France, 828-36

51. Barriers to Licit Marriage, Milan, 20 May 822

52. The Ideal Wife Described: Bonizo of Sutri, Italy, Late Eleventh Century

53. A Marriage and Wedding Feast, Flanders, Twelfth Century

54. The Marriage of Urraca, Spain, c. 1082

55. The Blessing of the Marital Bed at the End of the Wedding Day, Flanders, Twelfth Century

56. Donation by Bernard of Narbonne to his Wife Ermengarda, Narbonne, 27 August 1031

57. Managing a Dowry, France, Before 1148

58. Regularizing of the Property Surrounding Marriage, Genoa, 1159

59. Customs on the Dowry, Amalfi, Thirteenth Century

60. Dowry Payments, Marseilles, 1248

61. A Wife Gives all her Property to her Husband, Barcelona, 3 March 981

62. A Wife Defends the Property Rights of herself and her Husband, Barcelona, 17 October 987

63. Controls over Wives in Northern Italy, Bologna, 1016

64. Sale of Land by Elicia of Verona, Verona, 5 December 1127

65. Will of Maria Salbaconsa, Naples, 1076

66. Will of Dulcelina Gomberta, Marseilles, 6 July 1248

67. A Married Woman in Charge of Cash, Normandy, Late Eleventh Century

68. Female Workers in City Regulations, Pisa, 1287

69. Alleged Rape of Wives, England, Mid-fifteenth Century

70. A Rebel's Wife in Custody, Venice, 1326-8

71. Impugning Female Honour, Venice, 1326-8

72. The Incarceration of the Bruce Women, Scotland/England, 1306

73. A Young Married Woman: Petronilla, Lady of Andres, Flanders, c. 1138-9

74. A Couple Rent a House, Bologna, 1071

75. A Wife's Account of her Sick Husband, Cured by John Cacciafronte, Martyred Bishop, Verona, 1224

76. Royal Marital Troubles, France, 1149-50

77. A Young Woman Excommunicated for Leaving her Husband, England, Late Twelfth Century

78. The Suicide and Miraculous Revival of an Unhappy Wife, Normandy, Early Twelfth Century

79. Penitential Texts on Sexual Intercourse, Spain, Ninth to Eleventh Centuries

80. A Dubious Consanguinity Case, Sicily, Twelfth Century

81. Infertility? A Jewish Divorce Upheld by the King, England, 1242

82. Clerical Celibacy, Lisieux, Normandy, Late 1170s

83. An Irregular Liaison, Bologna, 1092

84. A Clerical Portrayal of the Miseries of Marriage, Italy, c. 1200

85. Christina of Markyate's Heroic Struggle against Marriage, Huntingdon, Early Twelfth Century

86. Religious Conversion Not an Excuse for Separation: Papal Opinions, Rome, Twelfth Century

87. Empress Judith as Godmother, France, 826

88. Peasant Mothers and their Children, France c. 820

89. A Mother's Refusal to Let her Son Hunt, France, 826

90. Queen Margaret of Scotland's Care for her Children's Education, Scotland, Eleventh Century

91. Pope Gregory IX Pronounces on a Custody Case, Strasbourg, 16 May 1229

92. Eleanor of Provence, Queen of England, Writes to her Son, Edward I, England, 1274-85

93. A Mother Responsible for a Disabled Child, Sicily, 1138

94. Care for Death and Mute Child, Normandy, 1145

95. A Mother Placing Her Son into an Apprenticeship, Crete, 1301

96. Will of Gentil, Wife of Jacob of Puigcerda, Pyrenees, 21 November 1306

97. Two Agreements between Mothers and Sons, Crete, 1301

98. A Stepmother Mentioned in Passing, Venice, 1196

Chapter 4: Widows


99. A Widow Makes Alternative Arrangements to Sell Her Land, Salerno, 882

100. A Widow Taking Over her Husband's Tenancy, Barcelona, 31 January 975

101. A Widow and Her Children Selling Land, Barcelona, 29 December 942

102. A Sale between Women, Palermo, Sicily, 1164

103. A Widow Entering Service, Marseilles, 15 April 1248

104. A Widow Taking a Loan, Marseilles, 14 April 1248

105. Widows in a Loan Agreement, Crete, 1301

106. The Business Circle of the Jewish Widow, Helea, Crete, 110

107. Widows and Political Upheaval, Normandy, 1219

108. Emma, Widow of King Lothar, Writes to her Mother, Empress Adelaide, France, Late Tenth Century

109. A Fictional Widow's Lament on the Loss of her Husband, Austria, 1194

110. Customs on Widows' Property, Amali, Thirteenth Century

111. A Widow in Conflict with her Brother, Barcelona, 8 May 1000

112. A Widow Disputing the Status of Land, Normandy, c. 1206

113. A Widow Making a Gift, Barcelona, Late Tenth Century

114. A Widow Renting Out Property, Marseilles, 30 April 1248

115. Account of Expenses Made by Richard of Anstey in his Case against Mable of Francheville, England, 1158-63

116. Will of Regina, Jewess of Pigcerda, Pyrenees, 23 October 1306

117. A Widow in Business as a Miller, Crete, 1301

118. A Frustrated Female Crusader, France, 1098

119. An Eyewitness Account of Empress Matilda Acting as Intermediary in the Case of Thomas Becket, Normandy, 1164

Chapter 5: Older Women and Death


120. A -Grandmother Invests for her Grandchildren, Crete, 1301

121. Will of Florita, Making Provision for her Old Age, Ravello, 1199

122. Old Women, According to the Poem 'Ruodlieb', Germany, c. 1050

123. Epigram on an Old Woman by Ulger, Angers, France, c. 1111

124. Old Women as Reliable Witnesses, Venice, 1196

125. Epitaph of the Jewess Scarlatta, Aquileia, Italy, 1140

126. Epitaph of Urania of Worms, Leader of Female Synagogue, Germany, Thirteenth Century

127. Epitaphs of Sicardis, Languedoc, 1199

128. The Death of Empress Adelaide, Orbe, Switzerland, 999

129. The Death of Queen Matilda I of Germany, 968

130. Queen Margaret of Scotland's Deathbed, Scotland, 1093

131. Death in Childbirth of Countess Christina of Guînes, Flanders, 2 July 1177

132. Benefactors of the Hôtel-Dieu, Listed for Commemoration, Beauvais, 1292

133. 'Competitive' Commemoration after the Death of Queen Matilda II, England, 1118

134. Letter to Einhard Commiserating on the Death of his Wife, Imma, 836

135. Guisanda's Will Disputed, Bari, 1021

136. The Will of Eva Peche Disputed, Cambridge, 1286

137. Beneficiary of a Will, Crete, 1301

138. Commemoration Stone Erected by Helmgöt for his Deceased Wife, Odendis, Sweden, Tenth to Eleventh Centuries

139. The Will of Æthelgifu, England, Tenth Century