The Paston letters form one of only two surviving collections of fifteenth-century correspondence, in their case especially rich in letters from the women of the family. Clandestine love affairs, secret marriages, violent family rows, bickering with neighbours, battles and sieges, threats of murder and kidnapping, fears of plague: these are just some of the topics discussed in the letters of the Paston women.
Diane Watt's introduction seeks to place these letters in the context of medieval women's writing and and medieval letter writing. Her interpretive essay reconstructs the lives of these women by examining what the letters reveal about women's literacy and education, life in the medieval household, religion and piety, health and medicine, and love, marriage, family relationships, and female friendships in the middle ages.
Professor Diane Watt is Head of the School of English and Languages, University of Surrey.
Watt's translations balance both readability and literalness. [...]an accessible edition devoted to one of the most interesting set of extant documents written by late medieval English women. MEDIEVAL REVIEW
|Three generations of women's letters||p. 1|
|Relationships between the female correspondents and the Paston family||p. 17|
|The letters and papers of Agnes Berry Paston||p. 23|
|The letters and papers of Elizabeth Paston Poynings or Browne||p. 39|
|The letters and papers of Margaret Mautby Paston||p. 45|
|The letters of Elizabeth Clere||p. 116|
|The letters of Dame Elizabeth Brews||p. 121|
|The letters of Cecily Daune and Constance Reynyforth||p. 125|
|The letters of Margery Brews Paston||p. 127|
|'In the absence of a good secretary': the letters, lives, and loves of the Paston women reconsidered||p. 134|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Library of Medieval Women
Number Of Pages: 190
Published: 26th December 2004
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 13.97 x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.25