For Her Good Estate: The Life of Elizabeth de Burgh

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For Her Good Estate recounts the trials and triumphs of a fourteenth-century English noblewoman. Elizabeth de Burgh led a tumultuous early life: an arranged marriage, an abduction leading to a clandestine second marriage, a forced third marriage to a man who died a traitor. Afterwards, empowered by a vow of chastity to insure her independence, Elizabeth emerged as a capable administrator of her vast estates, a concerned mother and grandmother, a shrewd builder of social and political networks, and a good friend. ...

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Overview

For Her Good Estate recounts the trials and triumphs of a fourteenth-century English noblewoman. Elizabeth de Burgh led a tumultuous early life: an arranged marriage, an abduction leading to a clandestine second marriage, a forced third marriage to a man who died a traitor. Afterwards, empowered by a vow of chastity to insure her independence, Elizabeth emerged as a capable administrator of her vast estates, a concerned mother and grandmother, a shrewd builder of social and political networks, and a good friend. She expressed her piety by many charitable initiatives, culminating in the foundation of Clare College, Cambridge University, a demonstration of her devotion to God and to learning. This book is the first biography of this remarkable woman. Frances Underhill shows how deeply gender issues influenced her life and how admirably Elizabeth rose above them to impact the lives of others. Hedged in by gender barriers, Underhill reveals, Elizabeth achieved prestige among her contemporaries and left a lasting legacy after her death.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...an accomplished, elegant, and thorough study of a fascinating subject." —Albion

...a well-written social-historical study which sheds new light on women's history in fourteenth-century England.
-Mediaevistik

Booknews
Retired historian Underhill (U. of Richmond) tells the story of the 14th-century English noblewoman. Her early life included an arranged marriage, an abduction and clandestine second marriage, and a forced third marriage to a man who died a traitor. Then she took a vow of chastity and got down to serious work managing her vast estates, seeing to her children and grandchildren, building social and political networks, and founding Clare College at Cambridge University. The account emphasizes the gender constraints she faced and how she overcame them. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312213558
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/2/2000
  • Series: New Middle Ages Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.66 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Frances A. Underhill taught at the University of Richmond for twenty-eight years. She received the Distinguished Educator Award three times. She is now Professor of History, Emerita.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
• The Tumultuous Years
• Widowhood and Independence
• Lifestyle and Estates
• Family Ties
• Friends, Allies and Clients
• Piety and Prestige
• Judgments
• Notes
• Bibliography
• Index

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