Daughters of Artemis

September 2009
30 colour, 12 black and white illustrations
240 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843842026
Format: Hardback

Daughters of Artemis

The Huntress in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Richard Almond

Evidence from manuscripts, tapestries, paintings and written documents shows the female huntress in action.
Hunting for sport, food and raw materials was a universal activity in the Middle Ages. However, the medieval hunting manuals and treatises written by male authors, as well as narratives and romances, present hunting as the exclusive leisure prerogative of gently-born educated men. The presence and various roles of women are ignored, as is any involvement of the commons.
Here, using evidence drawn from both contemporary documents and images, particularly from illuminated manuscripts, tapestries, paintings, carvings, engravings and prints, the author shows clearly that women from all ranks of society were actively engaged in hunting in a wider sense, from aristocratic ladies pursuing deer on horseback with hounds and shooting driven game, to peasant women netting birds, ferreting conies, poaching and distributing venison. Women are often depicted in illustrations alongside men, usually as their companions, assistants or significantly as learners; but they are also shown hunting or hawking alone, or with female companions.
Beautifully illustrated, this revealing study of a previously unexplored aspect of women's roles is an invaluable addition to our understanding of the dynamics of the medieval community.

Table of Contents

The Huntress as a Cultural Icon
Ladies in the Field
Commonalty Women
Hunting, Sin and Eroticism


This fine and scholarly book will be useful to anyone interested in hunting or in gender relationships and the role of women in the Middle Ages. Students of literature, too, will find it helpful. SPECULUM

[A] beautifully produced book. [...] The main value of this volume lies in its abundant quarry of examples, ranging from manuscript illuminations and a decorated bed head to prints, tapestries, and full-scale oil and tempera paintings. It is extremely useful to have the objects and action of such pictures elucidated at the literal level by a scholar expert in the history of hunting. [...] This is a wonderful topic. MEDIUM AEVUM

This is a useful book. It contains much useful information and students of women's history would find it interesting and informative. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

A vital addition to any historical collection focusing on the roles of women in society. MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
A well-researched book that will appeal to a diverse audience. BAILY'S HUNTING DIRECTORY

Author Bio

Independent Scholar