This fascinating volume breaks new ground in examining the status and lives of women in Europe during the Middle Ages, offering revealing new insights into the role of women in a wide range of religious, sexual and domestic affairs.
As this book amply demonstrates, women were central to the spiritual life of the medieval Church: Jo Ann McNamara writes on the legacy of miracles in the nunneries of Merovingian Gaul, Suzanne Wemple on one of the most important female monasteries in northern Italy, and Phyllis Roberts on the ideal of the virginal life. But the book is equally concerned with the family and relations between men and women. Leah Lydia Otis, for example, looks at the practice of prostitution in late medieval Perpignan; Helen Rodnite Lemay discusses medieval gynecology; and Julius Kirshner provides a revolutionary study of wives' claims against insolvent husbands, challenging the notion that the legal rights of women deteriorated in late medieval Italy.
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