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