'Woman, who is equal to the moon in the flower of youth,Is equal to a little old ape after the onset of old age'This remarkable collection brings together a host of writings from across different regions and cultures of the Middle Ages, from the ninth to the fifteenth century. They are arranged to follow the life stages of a Medieval woman living a secular existence, from infancy and girlhood, through marriage and motherhood, to widowhood and old age. Some women are famous or captured in exceptional circumstances, many more are anonymous: an abandoned baby in Italy, or an epitaph for the female leader of a Synagogue, speaking across the ages.This selection contains an introduction discussing the Medieval woman's status, separate introductions to each chapter, notes and a bibliography.
Elisabeth van Houts is a Fellow and lecturer in Medieval History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, with particular interests in the Anglo-Norman period, Latin historiography and the role of women in medieval society. Patricia Skinner was Reader in Medieval History at the University of Southampton. She has published extensively on the social and gender history of medieval Italy, as well as editing books on Anglo-Jewish medieval history and medieval historiography.