Gender and Petty Crime in Late Medieval England

July 2006
1 line illustrations
252 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Gender in the Middle Ages
ISBN: 9781843832164
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

Gender and Petty Crime in Late Medieval England

The Local Courts in Kent, 1460-1560

Karen Jones

out of stock

First full-length study of the relations between gender and crime in late medieval England.
Winner of the Women's History Network Book Prize, 2007

A large proportion of late medieval people were accused of some kind of misdemeanour in borough, manorial or ecclesiastical courts at some stage in their lives. The records of these courts bring us as close to ordinary townspeople and villagers as it is possible to get, and show what behaviour was considered reprehensible in men and women.

This book is the first full-length study of gender and crime in late medieval England. Based on a meticulous analysis of the records of local jurisdictions in Kent, and bringing in a wealth of evidence from numerous individual cases, it shows how charges against women typically differed from those against men, and how contemporary assumptions and fears about masculinity and femininity were both reflected and reinforced by the local courts. KAREN JONES is an Associate Research Fellow of the University of Greenwich.

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With such a thorough analysis of the sources and chock-full of useful tables offering firm statistical evidence of gender distinctions, Jones's book will certainly become a touchstone for future studies of petty crime. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW
Adds much to our understanding of how both criminal activity and the law functioned in response to and as conduits of gendered behavior. [Its] balanced approach to gender is one of the real strengths of this book. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW
Not only a substantial addition to Kentish history, it is of much more than local significance. SOUTHERN HISTORY
I would recommend this book to anyone who has looked at the local history of Kent and tried to re-construct life for the townspeople and rural folk of the Late Medieval and Tudor period. CANTERBURY ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER Of most interest to those working in gender is [also] useful to legal historians for its very detailed and careful examination of how social attitudes about men and women were reflected in the behaviour of local courts. LAW AND HISTORY REVIEW, Summer 2008 Dr Jones's book provides a significant contribution to the study of law and order in provincial society. Significantly extends the study of crime in Kent. Demonstrates how the secular and ecclesiastical courts endeavoured, alongside the family, the church and the peer group, to enforce social control through gender roles. This book will appeal to both the academic and the general reader, to those with an interest in crime and in the history of Kent in particular. It will also appeal to those interested in the construction and cohesion of past communities and to those who recognise the perennial topicality of issues of gender, status and social control. ARCHAEOLOGIA CANTIANA, 2008 Full of human interest and provides many insights into late medieval society as well as contributing to the debates over gender, crime and social control. WOMEN'S HISTORY MAGAZINE A solid piece of empirical research which will probably find its primary audience among specialists. HISTORY WORKSHOP JOURNAL

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