Daily Life of Women in Medieval Europe
by Belle S. Tuten
August 2022, 224pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7234-1
$70, £54, 61€, A96
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7235-8
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Women make up approximately half the population in every human society, but our sources to explore their experiences in the distant past are not abundant when compared to sources by and about men.

This book is an introduction to the everyday lives of medieval European women: how they ate and slept, what their work was like, and the many factors that shaped their experiences.

Ordinary people are often hard to see in the historical record. This resource for students reveals the everyday world of the Middle Ages for women: sex, marriage, work, and power. Using up-to-date scholarship from both archeology and history, this book covers major daily concerns for medieval people, their understanding of the world, their relationships with others, and their place in society. It attempts to clarify what we know and what we do not know about women’s daily lives in the Western European Middle Ages, between approximately 500 and 1500 CE.

The book’s focus is everyday life, so the topics are organized around women’s chores, expectations, and difficulties, especially with regard to sexuality and childbirth. In addition to broad survey information about the Middle Ages, the book also introduces major women writers and thinkers and provides some examples of their work, giving the reader an opportunity to engage with the women themselves.


  • Features five primary source documents excerpted from five of the most important female writers of the Middle Ages
  • Presents an overview about what life was really like for women in the Middle Ages, both rich and poor
  • Tackles common misunderstandings and stereotypes about the Middle Ages
  • Uses up-to-date research from both history and archeology
Belle S. Tuten, PhD, is Charles A. Dana Professor of History at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA.

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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