Aristocratic Women in Medieval France / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
The authors of the volume offer five case studies of women from the mid-eleventh through the thirteenth centuries, and from regions as diverse as Blois-Chartres, Champagne, Flanders, and Occitania. They show not only the diversity of life experiences these women enjoyed but the range of social and political roles open to them. The ecclesiastical and secular sources they mine confirm that women were regarded as full members of both their natal and affinal families, were never excluded from inheriting and controlling property, and did not have their share of family property limited to dowries. Women across France exchanged oaths for fiefs and assumed responsibilities for enfeoffed knights. As feudal lords, they settled disputes involving vassals, fortified castles, and even led troops into battle.
Aristocratic Women in Medieval France clearly shows that it is no longer possible to depict well-born women as powerless in medieval society. Demonstrating the importance of aristocratic women in a period during which they have been too long assumed to have lacked influence, it forces us to reframe our understanding of the high Middle Ages.
About the Author
Table of ContentsPreface
—Kimberly A. LoPrete Theodore Evergates
1. Adela of Blois: Familial Alliances and Female Lordship
—Kimberly A. LoPrete
2. Aristocratic Women in the Chartrain
3. Aristocratic Women in the County of Champagne
4. Countesses as Rulers in Flanders
—Karen S. Nicholas
5. Women, Poets, and Politics in Occitania
—Fredric L. Cheyette
List of Contributors