Daily Life of Women in Chaucer's England
by Jennifer C. Edwards
April 2022, 245pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7054-5
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7055-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

According to a popular story, during the Hundred Years War between England and France Queen Philippa of Hainault interceded with her husband, King Edward III, to spare the people of Calais.

Providing an indispensable resource for students and scholars studying the history of medieval women and gender, this book provides a comprehensive depiction of women's lives in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The late medieval period in England was one rich with opportunities for women, who played fundamental roles in family businesses as well as in the peasant community and economy, and who wrote letters, created autobiographies, and documented their spiritual journeys. Their lives fit into a pattern of seasonal celebrations and rituals shaped, for the majority of women, by work, marriage, and motherhood. The text further considers status distinctions, then shifts to experiences that affected all women, such as the ritual year, disease, food and drink, sex or celibacy, and religion.

By providing an overview of the history of English women and gender in the 14th and 15th centuries, the book provides a background suitable for students as well as for academics beginning work in this field.


  • Provides readers with an understanding of late-medieval women's daily lives, enabling a fuller appreciation of women's experiences in the distant past
  • Examines women of all classes, rather than focusing exclusively on aristocratic ladies
  • Provides a full picture of women's lives from birth to death, combining focus on such significant moments as marriage and childbirth with more common elements, such as work, food, and clothing
  • Includes 15 images that bring the text to life
Jennifer C. Edwards, PhD, is professor of history at Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY. She is the author of Superior Women: Medieval Female Authority in Poitiers' Abbey of Sainte-Croix. Her 2014 article, "My Sister for Abbess: Fifteenth-Century Power Disputes over the Abbey of Sainte-Croix, Poitiers" in the Journal of Medieval History won the Society for French Historical Studies' William Koren, Jr. Prize.

Daily Life

What was life really like for ordinary people in other cultures throughout history? How did they raise their children? What did they do for fun? From sexual mores in ancient Egypt to resistance music in modern Latin America, and from the fashion sense of the Mongols to the importance of film in modern India, the world comes alive in the indispensable hands-on volumes of this award-winning series. A truly interdisciplinary resource, the Daily Life series covers arts; religion; food; literature; language; romance; rites of passage and coming of age; marriage customs; social and government structure; sickness and cures; warfare; sports and games; holidays; festivals; and more. Supported by the most current research, these authoritative volumes provide an in-depth exploration of daily life throughout history.

Each volume provides:
• An exploration of complex eras in history on a level accessible to students and general readers
• Authoritative coverage stemming from the most current scholarship and recent discoveries
• A focus on social rather than political history in key curricular areas, providing an in-depth understanding of the nuts and bolts of daily life
• Interactive, exciting details such as recipes, sheet music, rules for games, song lyrics, and more
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