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Extraordinary Women Of The Medieval And Renaissance World

Overview

Aside from a few famous queens, warriors and religious leaders, little information is available about the many extraordinary women of the medieval and Renaissance world. This resource brings together engagingly written biographical profiles of 70 women, most of whom are unsung, but all of whom are remarkable for their courage, initiative, and accomplishments in a world where the conventional wisdom was for women to be chaste, silent, and obedient. The women profiled here represent 18 countries and excelled in 19 ...

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Overview

Aside from a few famous queens, warriors and religious leaders, little information is available about the many extraordinary women of the medieval and Renaissance world. This resource brings together engagingly written biographical profiles of 70 women, most of whom are unsung, but all of whom are remarkable for their courage, initiative, and accomplishments in a world where the conventional wisdom was for women to be chaste, silent, and obedient. The women profiled here represent 18 countries and excelled in 19 fields of endeavor. They include artists, builders, mystics, political leaders, religious activists, diarists and dramatists, poets and writers, and scholars.

In a world where women were taught to prefer silence to speech and self-expression, and where an assertive woman was considered an abnormal one, these women did speak out and assert themselves. This often required the courage to refute the moral dictates of the time, to put themselves at risk for their beliefs, or to take political power for themselves. Some women succeeded and some were destroyed in their efforts. These profiles, prepared by specialists in women's history, are based on the latest scholarship and offer a wealth of information not available elsewhere. Each profile features biographical data, an engagingly written biographical essay that discusses the woman's life in the context of her society, and bibliographic sources for further research. This work makes the lives of these extraordinary women accessible to the wide audience of students and interested readers and is ideal for student research.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This volume offers an improtant starting place for students and scholars committed to research that enhances the visibility and recognizes the dignificant cultural contributions of medieval and Rennaissance women. Students especially will find this to be an indispensable and enlightening resource. . . . Extraordinary Women of the Medieval and Renaissance World offers a unique and valuable resource for the students interested in women's history. This is a collection of bibliographies designed not only to inform, but also to spur readers on to further investigations."

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Medieval & Rennaissance Drama in England

"Recommended for public, high school, and undergraduate libraries."

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Reference & User Services Quarterly

"Because it expands the information available on women who are often just mentioned in passing in historical works, this volume is interesting for both browsing and research. . . . [A]ppropriate for academic and public libraries with collections on women's or medieval and Renaissance studies, although its writing style would appeal to a high-school audience as well."

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Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin

"This reference is unique both in its choice of subjects and in its chronological coverage. While most of these names would not appear in standard secondary text books, it is important for students to realize that women of influence could and did have an impact on society. . . . Recommended."

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The Book Report

"[I]nteresting reading in any library, but also a handy reference in school and academic collections supporting medieval, renaissance and women's studies."

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The GaleGroup

"[A]n excellent source of biographical information on lesser-known medieval and renaissance women and their times. It is suitable for any public or high school library where women's biographies are in demand."

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ARBA

"This volume can be classified as a reference book, but it can also fit under the rather informal category of a very good read."

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VOYA

"For undergraduate collections."

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Choice

VOYA
Collective biographies of women are not uncommon in recent years, but rarely do they attempt to cover a period so broad in time and place as this one. Overall, it succeeds quite well. This book focuses not on the best-known women of the times, but on the lesser known. These women moved beyond the roles normally permitted them to become important, powerful, or influential. Seventy biographies are included, ranging from two to six pages in length. Each biography includes a sketch of the woman's life, social and political details of the world in which she lived, and the impact she had. In some cases, very little is known about the woman's life, and details of time and place threaten to overwhelm the biography. Nevertheless each short essay is informative and interesting. Women included range from Akka Mahadevi, a poet and scholar from India in the twelfth century, to Marie Dentiere of Switzerland, a reformist and writer. From Queen Jadwiga of Poland to Ono No Komachi, waka poet, the lives of women of many times and places are revealed. Every entry is followed by a bibliography of three or more titles. Some biographies are accompanied by black-and-white photographic reproductions of paintings. The index covers not only the women but also the men who were important in their lives and times as well as literary works, places, and events. An appendix lists the women by country and by profession, and a time line sets out the major social and political events of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This book is an excellent source of biographical information on lesser-known medieval and renaissance women and their times. It is suitable for any public or high school library where women's biographiesare in demand. Index. Biblio. Chronology. Appendix. 2000, Greenwood, 352p. PLB Ages 12 to Adult. Reviewer: Gillian Wiseman SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24, No.1)
Booknews
Moving beyond the more familiar "Judith Shakespeares" whose fates were bemoaned by Virginia Woolf, this volume features 70 unsung women who were especially extraordinary given the mores of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (broadly defined). Averaging four pages, the cross-referenced entries range from Akka Mahadevi, an Indian saint and poet, to Katharina Zell, a German Protestant humanitarian. Appended material includes lists of notable women by title, occupation, or main area of interest, and by country/region; and a timeline of historical events from 600-1649. The six authors are professors of history or English at several universities. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313306594
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/30/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1260L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

CAROLE LEVIN is Professor of History at the University of Nebraska, where her specialties are English history and women's history.

DEBRA BARRETT-GRAVES is Assistant Professor of English at the College of Santa Fe where she won the Manuel Lujan Award for Excellence in Teaching.

JO ELDRIDGE CARNEY is Associate Professor of English at The College of New Jersey, where she teaches medieval and Renaissance literature.

W. M. SPELLMAN is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Asheville where his specialties are English history and European political thought.

GWYNNE KENNEDY is Associate Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches early modern literature and women's studies courses.

STEPHANIE WITHAM is completing her Ph.D. in English at the University of Nebraska on the topic of Renaissance women writers.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
Note to the Reader xix
Akka Mahadevi 1
Sofonisba Anguissola 4
Anne Askew 9
Elizabeth Barton 14
Blanche of Castile 17
Bridget of Sweden 22
Elizabeth Cary 26
Catherine of Siena 32
Christina of Denmark 37
Christina of Markyate 40
Margaret Giggs Clement 43
Lady Anne Clifford 48
Vittoria Colonna 52
The Cooke Sisters 57
Margherita Datini 60
Marie Dentiere 63
Jane Dormer 66
Elisabeth of Schonau 71
Elizabeth of Braunschweig 75
Isabella d'Este 78
Jacqueline Felicie 84
Lavinia Fontana 87
Veronica Franco 91
Veronica Gambara 95
Artemisia Gentileschi 98
Giulia Gonzaga 103
Argula von Grumbach 107
Anne Halkett 111
Elizabeth Hardwick 116
Helisenne de Crenne 122
Hrotsvit of Gandersheim 125
Hurrem Sultan 129
Esther Inglis 134
Izumi Shikibu 138
Jadwiga of Poland 142
Juana of Castile 147
Anna Komnena 153
Helene Kottaner 157
Louise Labe 160
Aemilia Lanyer 164
Lucretia de Leon 168
Anne Locke 172
Katherine Luther 176
Malinche 181
Margaret of Anjou 185
Margaret of Austria 190
Marguerite de Valois 194
Mary of Hungary 198
Mechthild of Magdeburg 202
Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem 208
Eleanor de Montfort 213
Murasaki Shikibu 218
Nzinga, Queen of Angola 223
Ono no Komachi 228
Caritas Pirckheimer 232
Diane de Poitiers 238
Marguerite Porete 241
Raziya, the Sultan 245
Renee of Ferrara 249
Margaret More Roper 252
Maria de Salinas 257
Sei Shonagon 261
Caterina Sforza 265
Gaspara Stampa 270
Arbella Stuart 273
Levina Teerlinc 278
Elizabeth Jane Weston 281
Catherine Willoughby 285
Mary Wroth 291
Katharina Zell 295
Appendix A Notable Women by Title, Occupation, or Main Area of Interest 299
Appendix B Notable Women by Country or Region 305
Timeline of Historical Events 309
Selected Bibliography 313
Index 315
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