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Extraordinary Women Of The Medieval And Renaissance World
     

Extraordinary Women Of The Medieval And Renaissance World

by Debra Barrett-Graves, Jo Eldridge Carney, Gwynne Kennedy, Stephanie Witham
 

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

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"For undergraduate collections." - Choice

"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." - Medieval & Rennaissance Drama in England

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

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313306594
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/30/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.81(d)
Lexile:
1260L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Carole Levin is professor of history at the University of Nebraska, where her specialties are English history and women's history. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Albion, The Sixteenth Century Journal, Shakespeare Yearbook, and Exemplaria. She is the author of numerous books and essays in edited collections, has held long-term fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Newberry Library, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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. Her articles appear in Shakespeare Yearbook and The Early Drama, Art, and Music Review. She is currently writing a book on servants and service in Shakespearean and Elizabethan drama. She is a member of the Shakespeare Association of America and the North American Branch of the Society for Emblem Studies.

Jo Eldridge Carney is associate professor of English at the College of New Jersey, where she teaches medieval and Renaissance literature. She has published articles in edited collections and journals and is the editor of the biographical dictionary Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620 (Greenwood Press, 2000).

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. His articles have appeared in such journals as Anglican and Episcopal History and the Harvard Theological Review. He is the author of numerous books and has held long term fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah.

Gwynne Kennedy is associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches early modern literature and women's studies courses. She has written several articles on women writers in early modern England and has recently published a book on early modern English women's anger.

Stephanie Witham is completing her PhD in English at the University of Nebraska on the topic of Renaissance women writers. She has taught at the College of St. Mary.

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