Medieval Women and the Law

Medieval Women and the Law

Edited by Noël James Menuge

Paperback
$34.95

Boydell Press

Overview

Overview

Legal records illuminate womens' use of legal processes, with regard to the making of wills, the age of consent, rights concerning marriage and children, women as traders, etc.
Determined and largely successful effort to read behind and alongside legal discourses to discover women's voices and women's feelings. It adds usefully to the wider debate on women's role in medieval society. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
What is really new here is the ways in which the authors approach the history of the law: they use some decidedly non-legal texts to examine legal history; they bring together historical and literary sources; and they debunk the view that medieval laws had little to say about women or that medieval women had little legal agency. ALBION

The legal position of the late medieval woman has been much neglected, and it is this gap which the essays collected here seek to fill. They explore the ways in which women of all ages and stations during the late middle ages (c.1300-c.1500) could legally shift for themselves, and how and where they did so. Particular topics discussed include the making of wills, the age of consent, rights concerning marriage, care, custody and guardianship (with particular emphasis on the rights of a mother attempting to gain custody of her own children within the court system), women as traders, women as criminals, prostitution, the rights of battered women within the courts, the procedures women had to go through to gain legal redress and access, rape, and women within guilds.

NOEL JAMES MENUGE gained her Ph.D. from the Centre of Medieval Studies at the University of York.

Contributors: P.J.P. GOLDBERG, VICTORIA THOMPSON, JENNIFER SMITH, CORDELIA BEATTIE, KATHERINE J. LEWIS, NOEL JAMES MENUGE, CORINNE SAUNDERS, KIM M. PHILLIPS, EMMA HAWKES

Details

March 2003
184 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9780851159324
Format: Paperback
Boydell Press
BIC JFSJ1, 1DBKE, 2AB, 3H, 4P
BISAC HIS037010, SOC032000
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Table of Contents

Introduction - P J P Goldberg
Women, Power and Protection in Tenth and Eleventh Century England - Victoria Whitworth
Unfamiliar Territory: Women, Land and Law in Occitania, 1130-1250 - Jennifer Smith
A Room on One's Own? The Legal Evidence for trhe Legal Arrangements of Women Without Husbands in Late-Fourteenth- and Early-Fifteenth-Century York - Cordelia Beattie
Women, Testamentary Discource and Life-Writing in Later Medieval England -
A Few Home Truths: The Medieval Mother as Guardian in Romance and Law - Noel James
A Matter of Consent: Middle English Romance and the Law of Raptus - Corinne Saunders
Written on the Body: Reading Rape from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Centuries - Kim M Phillips
`(S)he will ... protect and defend her rights boldly by law and reason ...': Women's Knowledge of Common Law and Equity Courts in late-medieval Englandlate-medieval England - Emma Hawkes

Reviews

A fine example of how a new generation of historians are approaching the field of legal history... what is really new here is the ways in which all of the authors approach the history of the law: they use some decidedly non-legal texts to examine legal history; they bring together historical and literary sources; and they debunk the view that medieval laws had little to say about women or that medieval women had little legal agency. ALBION (US)
Its wide-ranging and inter-disciplinary approach to source material throws new light on medieval women living their lives within the framework of the law and legal attitudes. RICARDIAN

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