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Women in the Medieval English Countryside : Gender and Household in Brigstock before the Plague - Judith M. Bennett

Women in the Medieval English Countryside

Gender and Household in Brigstock before the Plague

Paperback Published: 28th September 1989
ISBN: 9780195045611
Number Of Pages: 338

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Unlike most histories of European women, which have typically focused on the 19th and 20th century elite, this study reconstructs the public lives of peasant women and men during the six decades before the Black Death of 1348-49. Drawing on the extensive records of the forest manor of Brigstock, Judith Bennett challenges the myth of a "golden age" of equality for medieval men and women. Instead, she ably shows that women faced profound political, legal, economic, and social disadvantages in their dealings with men. These disadvantages stemmed more from women's household status as dependents of their husbands than from any notion of female inferiority; consequently, adolescents and widows participated much more actively than wives in the public life of Brigstock. Women in the Medieval English Countryside demonstrates not only how enduring the subordination of women has been throughout English history, but also how firmly that subordination has been rooted in the conjugal household.

"A valuable and carefully researched examination of peasant life and power structures in the later Middle Ages. Any reader interested in peasant communities, medieval socio-economic status, and the ways in which the great changes of the calamitous fourteenth century affected ordinary people can profit greatly from Bennett's book."--Albion "The strength of this work first of all is its meticulous use of evidence and research techniques, which lifts it above the existing studies of medieval women."--Signs "Makes a strong contribution to a sophisticated dialogue on gender relations."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History "Since household structure has such a profound bearing on women's lives, Judith Bennett's exploration of household and gender is timely."--Times Higher Education Supplement "A valuable and carefully researched examination of peasant life and power structures in the later Middle Ages. Any reader interested in peasant communities, medieval socio-economic status, and the ways in which the great changes of the calamitous fourteenth century affected ordinary people can profit greatly from Bennett's book."--Albion "The strength of this work first of all is its meticulous use of evidence and research techniques, which lifts it above the existing studies of medieval women."--Signs "Makes a strong contribution to a sophisticated dialogue on gender relations."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History "Since household structure has such a profound bearing on women's lives, Judith Bennett's exploration of household and gender is timely."--Times Higher Education Supplement

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 3
Studying Women in the Medieval Countrysidep. 18
Rural Households Before the Plaguep. 48
Daughters and Sonsp. 65
Wives and Husbandsp. 100
Widowsp. 142
Medieval Countrywomen in Perspectivep. 177
Note on Methodp. 199
Glossaryp. 233
Notesp. 237
Bibliographyp. 295
Indexp. 313
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195045611
ISBN-10: 0195045610
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 338
Published: 28th September 1989
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.06 x 13.92  x 1.83
Weight (kg): 0.39